The Art Institute of Chicago has a full slate of spring/summer programming. (Neighborhood: The Loop)
- The Arranged Flower: Ikebana and Flora in Japanese Prints (until July 9, 2023) – Ikebana is considered a form of Japanese high art, reflecting the principles of minimalism, asymmetry, and the appreciation of space. The arrangements are designed to create a sense of balance and harmony between the flowers and the environment in which they are displayed. Today, Ikebana is practiced by people of all ages and backgrounds in Japan and around the world. There are many different schools and styles of ikebana, each with its own unique techniques and aesthetic principles. Several works on display are surimono—privately commissioned prints circulated among members of poetry circles on special occasions—featuring representations of this practice.
- Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape (May 14 – September 4, 2023) – Between 1882 and 1890, five artists—Vincent van Gogh, along with Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard, and Charles Angrand—flocked to villages on the fringes of Paris. Each artist explored the use of discrete brushstrokes and strong colors in innovative ways, and in turn developed novel styles of painting: Divisionism, Pointillism, and Cloisonnism. More than 75 paintings and drawings from this intensely creative period—many from private collections and rarely publicly displayed—come together for this insightful presentation.
- Ellsworth Kelly: Portrait Drawings (July 1 – October 23, 2023) – It is not surprising that an artist’s work reflects their artistic influences and friendships. In the case of Ellsworth Kelly, his drawings show the impact of the artists he encountered during his travels to Europe in the 1940s, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. This exhibition spans most of Kelly’s 70-year career, showcasing his evolving and wide-ranging approach to both portraiture and drawing.
- Remedios Varo: Science Fictions (July 29 – November 27, 2023) – The exhibition brings together more than 20 paintings created by Varo during her time in Mexico from 1955 until her death in 1963. These paintings offer a glimpse into Varo’s distinct and diverse practice and are supplemented by additional materials from the artist’s archive, including large-scale cartoons, notebooks, sketches, detailed studies, ephemera, and personal possessions. Varo was a key figure in the Surrealist movement, and her work reflects many of the movement’s core values and beliefs. Furthermore, the exhibition marks a milestone in the museum’s efforts to expand the borders of the global Surrealist movement, as it is the Art Institute’s first solo exhibition dedicated to a woman Surrealist painter and to a woman artist working in Mexico.
Chicago History Museum’s exhibit Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection (until December 31, 2023) features 150 images from the Chicago History Museum’s Chicago Sun-Times. It is a first look at highlights from five million negatives spanning the 1940s-early 2000s, one of the largest newspaper photograph collections ever acquired by an American museum. As the Museum continues to process negatives from this extraordinary collection, new images will be shared through their online portal, CHM Images. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)
- Back Home: Polish Chicago – Opening May 20, 2023, the exhibition features more than 90 artifacts and documents as well as more than 100 reproduced photographs to help tell the story of the Chicago area’s vibrant Polish communities from the mid-1800s to today. Explore personal narratives, music, community involvement, as well as art installations from five local Polish artists. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more.
Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of DuPage will present Warhol: Featuring Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop / Works from the Bank of America from June 3 – September 10, 2023. The Warhol exhibition will feature 94 works from “Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop / Works from the Bank of America Collection” on loan through Bank of America’s Art in our Communities® program. Aside from the Bank of America collection, which will be on display in a dedicated space in the exhibition, there will also be over 100 works from the College of DuPage Permanent Art Collection. Educational and interactive elements will include a biographical exhibition highlighting key points in Warhol’s life and career, video installation, a Children’s Print Factory area, Studio 54 and Silver Cloud Room experiences, and Central Park-inspired outdoor space, creating an immersive, multifaceted exhibition focused on the life and work of one of the most influential artists of the past century. (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)
The Field Museum’s newest exhibition First Kings of Europe (open through January 28, 2024) explores how ancient farming villages led to the earliest tribal kingdoms in Europe, gathering together more than 700 exquisite objects from the Neolithic, Copper, Bronze, and Iron Ages. The countries represented (and collaborating in this exhibition) include Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. Highlights include some of the oldest gold treasures in the world from the cemetery of Varna, the gold crown of a Thracian prince, masterpieces of swordmaking and armor, weapons, jewelry, and more. (Neighborhood: South Loop / Museum Campus)
Harry Potter: Magic At Play extends its worldwide debut run in Chicago through September 4, 2023 at Chicago’s iconic Water Tower Place. The first-of-its-kind experience allows fans of all ages to engage with the Wizarding World like never before through 30,000 square feet of hands-on magical interactivity including games, exploration, sensory activations, and more that celebrate Harry’s own journey in discovering the wizarding world. Guests can explore the Dursley’s living room, step onto a boat and prepare to cross the Great Lake, attend some of Hogwarts’ most beloved classes, practice Quidditch fundamentals, and more. (Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile)
The Hyde Park Art Center’s new exhibit, Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT, the largest exhibition to date of the Puerto Rican artist, educator, and community organizer Edra Soto, will be on display through August 6, 2023. The exhibition features a new large-scale commission of the artist’s GRAFT series with porous sculptures, documentary photographs, drawings, and games that activate the Art Center’s indoor/outdoor main gallery. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)
The Illinois Holocaust Museum presents The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Łódz Ghetto (May 18 – September 24, 2023). In I945, a diary was discovered in the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp written by Rywka Lipszyc, a 14-year-old Jewish girl documenting her life in the Łódz Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944. More than 60 years after its discovery, the diary traveled to the United States, where it was translated to English, supplemented with commentaries, and published. Rywka Lipszyc’s diary, a moving memoir of life and adolescence in the Łódz Ghetto, is the focal point of this exhibition. Selected excerpts of the diary are supplemented by expert commentary from historians, doctors, psychologists, and rabbis. Blended with original artifacts and fleeting candid photographs of others’ lives in the ghetto, these commentaries help us understand the experiences Rywka describes in her diary. Through historical artifacts and documents, interactive touch screens, documentary videos, and exceptionally rare photographs, The Girl in the Diary explores the story of a young girl’s fight for survival in the Łódz Ghetto and reconstructs what might have happened to Rywka after her deportation to Auschwitz and beyond. There are no known photographs of Rywka. She exists for us only through words she wrote. (Skokie, Illinois)
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago’s current exhibition Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius (running through the end of May 2023), has Massimiliano Siccardi, immersive art installation pioneer, using state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence as inspiration to craft astonishing visuals inspired by the 18th-century destinations of Mozart’s world. With video direction by Vittorio Guidotti, legendary dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov’s tortured portrayal of Leopold, Mozart’s father, will enthrall audiences. Luca Longobardi re-arranged and recomposed 17 selected works from Mozart’s repertoire for the eclectic soundtrack, which also features exclusive music from the Italian composer and was recorded by a 45-piece symphonic orchestra and conducted by four-time Grammy®-nominated Constantine Orbelian. (Neighborhood: Lincoln Park)
Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) welcomes Gary Simmons: Public Enemy (June 13 – October 1, 2023), the first comprehensive career survey of the work of multidisciplinary artist Gary Simmons. Since the late 1980s Simmons has played a key role in situating questions of race, class, and gender identity at the center of contemporary art discourse. Notable for his early application of conceptual artistic strategies, Simmons exposes and analyzes histories of racism inscribed in U.S. visual culture. This exhibition covers thirty years of the artist’s career, encompassing approximately seventy works. (Neighborhood: Streeterville)
- This summer, visitors can also enjoy “Tuesdays on the Terrace” when it returns from June 13 – August 29, 2023. This annual, free summer concert series on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden highlights artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned music community. For the first time, this year’s roster of performers extends beyond a purely jazz focus to include more diverse genres and styles that have unique Chicago roots, incorporating hip-hop, house, blues, bomba, and more.
The Museum of Science and Industry is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a series of exciting events including the museum’s first Meet Her! (Katya Echazarreta) event on May 13, 2023, which celebrates the first Mexican-born woman to go to space. Katya Echazarreta is featured in “Mission Unstoppable” on CBS, hosted the YouTube series “Netflix IRL,” and recently was honored with her own Barbie. She’s also an accomplished electrical engineer who worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Neighborhood: Hyde Park)
Stage 773’s new immersive walk-thru experience, WHIM, blends carefully curated cocktails and a world where every art form comes together – paintings, music, sculpture, street art, and live performance – all by Chicago artists. The experience includes the “Lobby of Second Chances,” the “Second Shots Bar,” and the “Enchanted Forest,” featuring a live performance stage and a giant enchanted tree towering over it all. (Neighborhood: Lakeview)
WNDR Museum, Chicago’s original immersive art and technology experience will, starting May 12, 2023, debut a three story immersive infinity installation by the globally iconic Yayoi Kusam. Featuring a series of floating yellow and black polka dots alongside walk-in and peep-in installations, Dots Obsession will fill WNDR’s atrium and transport visitors into Kusama’s obsession with polka dots, repetition, celestial bodies, and the experience of the infinite. (Neighborhood: West Loop / Fulton Market)
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