Wear your contemplative hat and enjoy the introspective pieces of Edward Hopper, the man who painted the classic American-diner scene before Norman Rockwell came along. See if you can spot the inspiration behind movies like Hitchcock’s Psycho and Mendes’ Road to Perdition, and linger in the quiet, narrative moments of solitude and shadow. Pieces like “Nighhawks” and “Hotel Window” will make you slow down and delve into the details of everyday life. Edward Hopper, Feb. 16 – May 10, 2008, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Prince Charming, Brigitte Bardot shopping in short-shorts, Marie Antoinette looking regal yet modern – all in the same exhibit. No one mixes classic historical figures, fairy tales and pop culture like Philadelphia-native Karen Kilimnik.The MCA hosts an exhibition of paintings and installations that blur the lines of reality and fantasy, and boldly share the artist’s fleeting feminine obsessions. Karen Kilimnik, Feb. 23 – June 8, 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
Jean-Paul Gaultier, Yohiji Yamamoto, Christian Dior – it doesn’t get better
than this. Celebrate 25 years of revolutionary fashion as the famed exhibit from LACMA visits the Midwest. Drool over dramatic silhouettes and non-traditional material while exploring how designers have redefined the term “beautiful.” Pieces like Issey Miyake’s “Minaret” Dress and Moschino’s “Dinner Jacket”(complete with utensils) are must-sees. Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 16 – June 1, 2008, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN.
Artist Jay Kelly says the one thing he seeks to evoke through his work is emotion. His most recent works involve layering of
photographs of seemingly insignificant subjects, like an old tree or street corner, with aged paper and stenciled words to create a
beautiful, sentimentally and visually stimulating experience. Look for hints of his beloved Californian roots and his interest in urban landscapes, and peruse the Chicago debut of his sculptures. Jay Kelly: Drawings and Sculptures, April 18 – May 27, 2008, Roy Boyd Gallery, 739 N. Wells St., Chicago.
Mingle with artists, collectors and fans of modern art at the preview party for Art Chicago, one of the biggest exhibits in the city. Although the opening soirée is invitation only, the sneak preview (hosted an hour before) gives you a glimpse of Artropolis’ main event. Prepare to be blown away by its grandeur – over 2,000 artists and 180 galleries are represented, and the exhibit takes up the entire 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. Art Chicago Preview Party, April 24, 2008, The Merchandise Mart, Chicago.
If you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, as you should be if you claim to be a true Chicago native, get first dibs on his works and many others by Gilbert Rohde and Isamu Noguchi at the preview gala for the 5th Annual Chicago Modernism Show & Sale. Browse everything from furniture and pottery to accessories and vintage clothing brought by 60 dealers from all over the world. The event will benefit the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Foundation. Chicago Modernism Show & Sale Preview Gala, April 25, 2008, 1422 N. Kingsbury, Chicago.
Having trouble memorizing those prime numbers? Try sleeping on them – literally. Karen Reimer’s recent works feature pillowcases with embroidered prime numbers corresponding to the number of patches. Such crazy-quilt designs are not far from Reimer’s other embroidered works, which include painstakingly detailed pages of the Tribune or notebook paper recreations. See domestic objects in a whole new light. Karen Reimer, April 25 – May 31, 2008, Monique Meloche Gallery, 118 N. Peoria St., Chicago.
Sometimes nothing is more captivating than the ordinary. Cecil McDonald’s photographs display scenes of a middle-class family – his family, that is. His daughters are his favorite actors, as he provides snapshots of their interactions and their imaginary childhood play. By re-enacting seemingly mundane memories and injecting emotion and drama, McDonald’s work is both candid and not. Cecil McDonald, Jr.: Domestic Observations, April 25 – May 31, 2008, Catherine Edelman Gallery, 300 W. Superior St., Chicago.
If there’s one artist today that bends the line between boldness and high art, it’s Jeff Koons. Yet it’s hard to resist the aesthetic party of his stainless steel blowups of toys and flowers, or that infamous life-size ceramic of Michael Jackson and his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. Feast your eyes on an exclusive exhibit of his classics, selected by the Neo-pop artist himself. Jeff Koons, May 31 – Sept. 21, 2008, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
Enough of the adult chatter! The urban youth of Chicago are taking conversation into their own hands. Through literature and photography, students display often poignant, often shocking, often intimate portrayals of themselves and their communities. The message? When they talk back, adults will respond. Be one of those who listen. Talkin’ Back 5 Chicago Youth Respond, June 4 – 10, 2008, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
If Lindsay Lohan’s recent homage wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for all things Marilyn, try a who exhibit dedicated to the icon. 300 pieces by 80 artists, including Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon and Bert Stein. Oh, and free admission – need we say more? Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, July 19 – Sept. 21, 2008, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St., Chicago.
- Grace Bahk
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