Ed Paschke Art Center
The eccentric and intensely colorful work and belongings that exude the fascinating personality of a quintessential Chicago artist, the late Ed Paschke, now have a permanent and beautiful home in Jefferson Park. Opened on June 22 on what would have been the artist’s 75th birthday, the bright and large space houses many works by Paschke along with a recreation of his studio that includes source material and other ephemera. Owners Vesna K. Stelcer and Lionel B. Rabb have created an incredible testament to one of the most well-known artists and teachers in the city. In addition to the impressive collection of Paschke on display, the back gallery exhibits other artists along with an artist-in-residence program. Currently on view is “Warhol, Reed, and Bowie,” photographs by the Chicago-based photojournalist, Steve Schapiro through Jan. 15. —Carrie McGath
Ed Marszewski has a mini-empire of businesses in Bridgeport. The King Cholo and public face of Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar and Marz Community Brewing has been a gallery owner dating back to his days at the late bUDDY in Wicker Park. The Co-Prosperity Sphere, located a couple blocks south of Maria’s, is an expansion of the “experimental cultural center” philosophy Marszewski originally implemented at bUDDY. The “Co-Pro” hosts several rotating exhibits throughout the year but its reach moves far beyond art into hosting theatrical productions, Story Club South Side, is the home for the annual Version Festival and MDW Fair and other events. The art exhibits focus on new and emerging artists, many of whom have worked with Marszewski in his various publishing endeavors including Lumpen, Mash Tun Journal, and Proximity— Chuck Sudo
Ann Nathan Gallery
Back in January I attended a packed opening of Art Shay’s photography at this River North gallery and returned a couple weeks later to enjoy some of the other exhibits on display. Ann Nathan has seen it all in over 30 years running her gallery, including the infamous River North gallery district fire of 1989, and she’s persevered with a keen eye for amazing art and earned a reputation as one of the most respected gallery owners in Chicago. Nathan and her staff curate exhibits that run the gamut of contemporary art, from photography and paintings to sculpture and furniture. All of it showcased in a roomy, inviting space that takes most of the pretense out of visiting a gallery. — Chuck Sudo
Carl Hammer Gallery
Carl Hammer Gallery is a deeply-rooted institution in the city’s art scene as well as an absolute must-visit space when in the River North Arts District. Focusing on Outsider, emerging and African art, the permanent collection is impressive. The exhibitions here are consistently engrossing and the openings are warm and intimate. Mr. Hammer recently received an honorary Visionary Award from Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, only adding to him being a central figure in the arts community in Chicago and beyond. Just some of the artists the gallery represents include: C.J. Pyle, Henry Darger, Mr. Imagination / Gregory Warmac, Lee Godie and Mary Lou Zelazny. Currently on view through Dec. 31 is “Truppe Fledermaus and the Carnival at the End of the World” with work by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. —Carrie McGath
Catherine Edelman Gallery
River North has one of the highest concentrations of galleries in Chicago so how does one stand out among the rest? If you’re Catherine Edelman, you focus on damn fine photography, which she and her staff have done with a laser focus for 27 years. Edelman’s below street level space has earned a reputation as one of the best contemporary photography galleries in the Midwest, with a mix of exhibits from new and established photographers. Currently, Edelman is host to Sandro Miller’s “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich” exhibit where Miller and John Malkovich pay homage to iconic American photography. That exhibit is arguably second to the MCA’s “Bowie Is” exhibit as the hottest pop art exhibit in Chicago. Visit Catherine Edelman for Miller and Malkovich, stay for the equally arresting Unsoiled exhibit from Chicago-based photographer Allison Grant. Grant takes original photographs from Flickr, Wikipedia, and other public/Creative Commons sources and reinterprets them through the use of found materials. — Chuck Sudo
DePaul Art Museum
Part of DePaul University, the DePaul Art Museum has free admission and features pieces that pack a punch. In keeping with the mission of the school, much of the art seeks to create social awareness and engagement. Though it does feature some historical exhibitions, much of the work that is on display at any given time is contemporary, and speaks to our current cultural and social reality. There is constant rotation of exhibitions, which means that you can go back again and again and see new things. They also have a sizable collection of work that is not on display for the public that can be searched in its entirety online and is available by appointment through their website. — Sophie Day
This apartment gallery in Pilsen off 18th Street is a space that always has emerging artists doing groundbreaking work. A lot of technology-based artists exhibit here, but Antena is hardly narrow in scope. Curator and founder, Miguel Cortez, has created a place for artists who are primarily new to exhibiting a place to show their work. He finds many of his artists by his own acute radar, but also utilizes Acre Projects, a residency in Wisconsin, to find much of the work he displays. The openings most always include artists who are always happy to talk to visitors in a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. Since it isn’t a typical, “art world” gallery, it is all that much more meaningful and enjoyable. As a bonus, enjoy a beer in exchange for a donation while you peruse. The gallery is on hiatus till Spring, so be sure to check this space out after the thaw. — Carrie McGath
If you’ve ever noticed the strange sign for the “Fulton Vortex” in an alley in the West Loop, you might be curious to know what it is. It’s supposedly a vortex of energy fields and much of them are concentrated in Mars Gallery. I will admit this place does feel warmly spooky to me and it’s a great place to discover the West Loop’s artistic history and present.— Melissa McEwen
Firecat Projects is one of those rare and wonderful spaces where art and the artists who create it are the absolute priority. The former studio of Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick, it was converted to a gallery space in 2010 with Stan Klein. This space is a joy to visit regularly with its laid-back air and consistently strong exhibitions. A true art space in every way, the artists at Firecat have complete license on how to use their time in conjunction with the space and no commissions from sold work is taken by the gallery, but instead goes directly to the artists. I am always inspired when I visit Firecat since the work is so sincere and solid. And as a bonus, it is always a pleasure to chat with Stan Klein himself who is often present. Through Nov. 22, Jessica Joslin’s “Immortal Zoo” is on view and on Nov. 28, the cannot-miss exhibition, “Nelson Algren’s Chicago” will open with photographs by the great Art Shay.— Carrie McGath
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Located near the Blue Line Chicago stop, there is a particularly unique art experience at Intuit. The work exhibited is by artists who were never formally trained and instead began to create art from an innate drive within them, in essence, an intuitive drive. The appeal of Outsider Art is constantly growing and becoming a serious genre for collectors and museum acquisitions. On permanent display is a recreation of the small apartment of Chicago’s own custodian / artist, Henry Darger. One of the most well-known of Outsider artists, this room is a major draw to anyone interested in this movement. Additionally, their extensive research collection is a draw for both scholars and the curious alike. Events are always happening in the space including music, lectures, and art programs. Currently on view is “Found: Page Me Later” and “Collective Soul: Outsider Art from Chicago Collections,” both through Dec. 27. — Carrie McGath
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Carrie Secrist Gallery in the West Loop consistently delivers edgy, thought-provoking, well-curated exhibitions and should be in any contemporary art-lover’s sights. Showing and representing emerging artists, it is a great place to get a handle on the pulse of what is happening in art right now. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 22, there will be an opening reception for a group show called, “Dogs Chase Balls.” This is an exhibit curated by NO SPACE, an artist-run project space based primarily online and in Mexico City. A portion of the proceeds of this exhibition will go to PAWS Chicago and is yet another reason to love this gallery. — Carrie McGath
A part of Roosevelt University, this Loop gallery is home to intimate and well-conceived exhibitions and is a great way to end a day after the large, encyclopedic experience that is the Art Institute of Chicago just across Michigan Avenue. The Gage Gallery often shows photography and, most recently, is hosting rotating exhibitions celebrating ten decades of Chicago photojournalism that continues through next summer. Check out the moving documentary photography of John H. White called, “Faith, Focus, Flight,” through Dec. 20. — Carrie McGath
Come one, come all to Chicago’s purveyors of the curious, the odd and the monstrously grotesque! A stuffed bat suspended in a glove perched atop an urn, a vintage saw with carnival text that reads “Tattoo Removal”, a realistically detailed monster ferociously leaping out of the wall—all of these artful curiosities are on display and for sale at the Sideshow Gallery. The shop is the witchy art gallery sibling to Revolution Tattoo next door, owned and operated by husband and wife team Cheri Basak and Omar Gutierrez. While expert artist Omar produces some of the most exquisite ink in town, Cheri Basak cultivates a richly colored, occult-inspired environment with her mystical interior design skills. Her shop features some of the most affordable and beautiful taxidermy in the city and host shows that featuring local artists, art classes and tarot readings. If you’re waiting to get inked at Revolution Tattoo next door, why not browse here for an hour or three? There is always a spectacular find waiting to fulfill your morbid curiosity. — Erika Kubick
Smart Museum of Art
If you want to find a place that has stunning pieces of art from all across history and all over the world, but without the price tag that typically goes along with such things, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is just what you need. Admission is free and the size is just right. Whether you want to spend only an hour or the better part of an afternoon, the exhibits can be perused quickly or pondered for much longer. Because it’s a small museum on campus you often get the chance to be alone with the artwork and engage in a way you may not get the chance to in a bigger museum. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the museum draws on a gigantic and mind-blowing collection of works from the likes of Degas and Matisse, as well as more contemporary artists. The museum often collaborates with professors to create unique and educational experiences to be enjoyed by all. — Sophie Day
Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts Gallery
If you are visiting the Pilsen neighborhood to go to a restaurant or concert, or you moved here and you want to know the history, this gallery is a great field trip. Many of the exhibitions focus on the neighborhood’s history and the gallery owners are themselves longtime residents and wellsprings of history.— Melissa McEwen
Hyde Park Art Center
From its humble beginnings in a former saloon in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center has maintained a hippy, trippy vibe that still runs deep and strong as it celebrates its diamond anniversary in 2014. The center’s mission, then and now, remains the same—that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the visual arts. Hyde Park Art Center was most notably the incubator for the artist collectives The Monster Roster, The Hairy Who, and The Chicago Imagists, and current exhibits include The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle, an exploration where artists explore the spaces, in-betweens and other conditions of the middle, both abstract and definite. —Chuck Sudo
Paul Germanos Opening Friday October 24th from 6-10pm October 24 - November 22, 2014 Documenting the art world might be likened to searching for ghosts in a haunted house. Galleries and museums of art are sometimes very intimidating places to enter. And when understood as a succession of interrelated social events, the art world itself can be said to manifest only briefly in any given place. In spite of that ephemeral nature, the art world is regularly anthropomorphized and (rightly) called such things as capricious--even malevolent. Its unseen ears hear what is said; its unseen eyes see what is done. Slights are long remembered. And as gossip travels, tales of treachery are embellished. Warnings are passed to the young: Avoid that person! Avoid that place! In the spirit of the season, Antena will house a photographic installation derived from a decade-long effort to record Chicago's contemporary artists and exhibitions. The grandson of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island and New York City to Chicago, Paul Germanos was born November 30, 1967, in Cook County, Illinois. Among other institutions of higher learning, Germanos attended Harold Washington College and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduate study of the history of political philosophy with students of Leo Strauss, Germanos drove a taxi at night, in Chicago, for two years. Germanos regularly practices writing and photography, and he cares for his mother. http://chicagoartworld.blogspot.com/https://www.flickr.com/photos/73059802@N00 Antena 1755 S. Laflin St. Chicago, IL 60608See map: Google Maps
A Home coming videos by Cara Megan Lewis and Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera Opening Friday September 19, from 6-10pm September 19 - October 12, 2014
The comfort of “home” is exploited in the three video works featured in the exhibition A Home coming. Each video is situated in a liminal, transitory space that complicates otherwise familiar places and implicates the role of the voyeur, blurring the distinction between reality and fiction. The exhibition will feature a collaborative artwork, and one individual work by each of the artists.
For their individual works, both Cara and Alejandro appropriated existing “home videos.” For Cara’s video installation Let’s Do It, edited footage from a 1990 home music video - originally made in collaboration with her father - raises questions of early sexual awareness and depicts the fine line between confidence and self consciousness. Alejandro’s video on the other hand abstracts an overtly sexual video clip from a homemade porn he found online, offering a humorous perspective on that which is usually confined to the private realm.
The setting of their collaborative video installation Cul-de-Sac is a subdivision of more than 100 houses all in the same state of construction. The timeless music box melody accompaniment implies a history and offers a counterpoint to the otherwise cultural void depicted in the footage of the construction site. The hypnotic video exposes the skeleton of a yet-to-be populated, already-scripted homogenous society that prizes superficial appearance over true quality.
The collaborative Diaz Lewis (Chicago/Cuba) formed in October 2012 when the couple Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera and Cara Megan Lewis received an unexpected invitation from the National Ballet of Cuba to participate in a group exhibition marking the anniversary of the Cuban institution. In the following year, Diaz and Lewis worked together across the divide, Diaz in Havana and Lewis in Chicago. Their photo book, SMS: Simultaneous Moments of Silence documents a year apart moving simultaneously through life in their distinct positions; Lewis is a gallery director of Rhona Hoffman Gallery and Diaz is an emerging Cuban artist. While Diaz and Lewis have performed private art actions from Varadero, Cuba to Hong Kong, their participation in Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival 2014 marked their first public performance together. In 2014, they realized two performative artworks through Defibrillator Gallery in Chicago, The Other’s Voice and I Am Not Myself. Both performances addressed the complexities of communication and the deconstruction of iconic symbols. Their collaborative practice continues to investigate how the political relationship and cultural distinctions between their two countries (the US and Cuba) manifest on a micro or personal level.
Opening June 27 from 6-10pm June 27 –July 19, 2014
[What Is This Feeling]
processes the consequences of a desire to isolate where it hurts and
what it is to be human.The work is inspired by my history as
a pediatric research subject and a more resent experience handling
dissected and dismembered cadavers at the end of their two-years of
use. I retired and documented a series of experimental handmade 16mm
film loops that had been at my service for the same duration. The
stills are displayed through a network of x-ray viewers, embellished
power strips and electrical cords. Also on display, a running film
installation in the process of breakdown.
Examining the examiners through still
and moving media, Kristin Reeves has shown her work internationally
in museums, galleries, theaters, art events, and festivals such as
the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Microscope Gallery
(Brooklyn), and the European Media Art's 2013 Best of the Festival
She has also collaborated in over 20 multimedia performances
including the Tony Fitzpatrick American Trilogy at Steppenwolf
Theater and she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Ball State
University in Muncie, IN.
"antena" is a project space located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. The spanish word "antena" means a device that is a transducer designed to transmit or receive electromagnetic waves but in this case it is meant to define it as a cultural space that transmits/broadcasts symbolically art ideas, new media and installation projects on a local and global scale.