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My Dog Sighs
Photograph: Courtesy My Dog Sighs

The best art exhibits to see in Chicago in February

See 200 years' worth of chairs, amazing ocular street art and Chinese ink drawings at February's top openings

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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We're just one month into 2018 and the art on display in Chicago keeps getting better. In February, some of Chicago's best galleries and the city's finest museums are hanging eye-catching shows, including an expansive exhibition of the glittering, textured creations of New York artist Howardena Pindell at the Museum of Contemporary Art. There's also a show that displays two decades' worth of chairs and seating at the Driehaus Museum and some stunning paintings of glossy eyes from UK street artist My Dog Sighs at Vertical Gallery. Impress your Valentine's Day date by taking them to one of the best Chicago art exhibits opening in February. 

February art openings in Chicago

  • Art
  • Installation

Shanghai artist Xu Longsen presents a collection of his large-scale landscape paintings, made using traditional tools and materials. His interpretations of Chinese vistas draw on techniques that date back to the 10th century and are presented on gigantic 30-foot canvases. The "Light of Heaven" installation was created for the Art Institute, presenting his ink-wash drawings on a set of pillars within the museum.

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  • Art
  • Design

For the most part, we think of chairs as a place to sit back and relax, but there's no denying that there's an art to the perfect seat. "The Art of Seating" surveys the evolution of the objects we sit down on, presenting a collection of 37 chairs, some of which date back to 1810. The changes in form mirror technological advancements, moving from a simple handcrafted rocking chair to a modern seat made from undulating strips of bright blue plastic.

  • Art
  • Contemporary art

This group show assembles work that places a spotlight on the aspects of the natural world that many of us take for granted, encompassing videos, sculptures and photographs inspired by the elements and our geophysical surroundings. The exhibition features work by Daniel G. Baird, Marissa Lee Benedict, Nina Canell, Revital Cohen, Tuur Van Balen, Cécile B. Evans, Florian Germann, Jochen Lempert and Nicholas Mangan.

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  • Art
  • Painting

Artist Beverly Fishman explores the complex visual language of the medical industry through her work, which uses urethane paint to create vibrant eye-catching colors. "Chemical Sublime" displays works resembling the shapes of pills, named for the maladies that the pharmaceuticals that inspired them claim to treat.

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