5 Chicago Art Shows Not to Miss this January

Every month there are a number of good exhibitions in Chicago. This month, there are five I highly recommend. Here they are in order of opening dates.  I included some of the description text from their websites. Check them out and support our Chicago artists.

1. Lauren Levato at Packer Schopf Gallery


Opening January 11

Wunderkammer, literally “wonder room” but what now is commonly called a cabinet of curiosities, arose in mid-sixteenth-century Europe as a way for naturalists, scientists, the rising merchant class, and aristocrats to show off their ever expanding collections. These collections contained drawings of foreign creatures, diagrams of impossible machines, and objects of the exotic, both real and artificial. The collections spanned and often defied categorization though were typically displayed together by likeness: art, zoology, spiritualism, medical anomalies, fable, myth, and monsters all made up a typical Wunderkammer. These rooms were repositories not only of objects, but also of memories. Read full info: http://www.packergallery.com/levato/

Also, check out my interview with Lauren Levato in this link: https://sergiogomezart.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/in-sync-with-lauren-levato-interview/

2. Vera Klement & William Conger at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Concurrent Solo Exhibitions

Opening January 11


“Early & Late Work,” an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Vera Klement, will be the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. During her over 50-year career, Klement has placed equal importance on color and composition as the development of imagery related to time, memory, and human experience. “New Paintings,” William Conger’s inaugural exhibition at Zolla/Lieberman, features oil paintings on canvas or wood, all created within the past year. Conger continues his lifelong investigation of formal non-representational abstraction nuanced by the suggestion of illusionism to evoke an ambiguous welter of private and cultural memories, allusions, feelings, places and events.

Find out more details in their Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/128205860673229/ 

or gallery website: http://www.zollaliebermangallery.com/

3. Has Beens & Wannabes at the Zhou B Art Center

Retrospective of Chicago Urban Artists from the 80’s and 90’s

Opening January 18

Has Beens & Wannabes” is a group exhibition featuring artists that have forged their urban style and imagery in the greater Chicago and Midwest area since the early 80s. These artists started off as teenage subway graffiti artists and slowly gained notoriety in Chicago and abroad. The early 90’s were not exactly friendly years to many of these artists who became exiled and unappreciated. Despite the efforts to quiet their voices, these artists continued making their mark and maturing as visual artists.  Read more: http://zhoubartcenter.com/upcoming/

4. Mario Gonzalez Jr at 33 Contemporary Gallery


Opening January 18

33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago presents and extraordinary solo exhibition by Mario Gonzalez Jr. in concurrence with his curatorial project Has Beens and Wannabes opening simultaneously at the Zhou B Art Center. STYLE BOMBING features a range of new works created specific for this exhibition. Known for his unique street “styles” that incorporate a fusion of colorful letter forms, line drawing, paint drips and abstract monochromatic surfaces, Mario Gonzalez Jr. continues to expand the boundaries of his visual vocabulary. STYLE BOMBING denotes a well orchestrated yet spontaneous freestyle approach to art making in the manner of the graffiti writers. Using raw and reclaimed materials such as wood panels, old furniture pieces, crates, and door scraps, Mario Gonzalez Jr. tags each painting with confident strokes mastered through years of perfecting hand styles and letterforms. Read more: http://www.33contemporary.com/

5. Tom Torluemke at Hyde Park Art Center


Opening January 20


Experience the playful, politically-charged art by Tom Torluemke—literally. This new immersive installation created for the Art Center features a 170 foot mural and several abstract wooden sculptures intended to raise questions about the current economic, environmental, and social conditions of the United States.

Rendered in an exaggerated and illustrative style, Torleumke’s approach parallels educational Depression-era WPA murals to emphasize a call to action. The mural will be painted on double-sided boards, allowing viewers to physically turn it around at particular times during the exhibition, transforming the gallery from a wasteland (on one side) to a utopia (on the other). While seeming to offer solutions, Torluemke presents the ideal society in a suspiciously artificial way, cautioning that paradise is never what it seems to be.

Read more: http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibitions/tom-torluemke-emfearsome-fable-–-tolerable-truthem

Coming soon to this blog, an interview with Tom about his upcoming show. Don’t miss it!


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