July art openings in Chicago
As one of the most sought-after portrait artists at the turn of the 20th century, John Singer Sargent traveled the world painting important figures and scenes. Sargent first exhibited his work at the Art Institute in 1890 and returned to Chicago often, thanks to the patronage of local businessman and art collector Charles Deering. Comprising 100 of this works, "Chicago's Gilded Age" showcases the breadth of Sargent's talents and seeks to unravel his connections to our city's art scene at the dawn of the 1900s.
A trio of rising Chicago artists takes the spotlight in Vertical Gallery's new show “Counterparts,” which provides a taste of the talent taking shape throughout the city. The show features work by self-taught street artist Pizza in the Rain, fine artist Joseph Renda Jr. and multimedia creator Crop.
Artists Elana Herzog and Luanne Martineau are the subjects of this dual show, which explores the combination and compression of materials in artistic works. Herzog works with found textiles and paper pulp, forming layered collages that demonstrate the ways in which experiences can be formed (and reformed) over time. Likewise, Martineau is a paper-weaving and needle-felting artist who embeds explicit graphics in her work, recontextualizing images that cultural norms dictate as “improper.”
School of the Art Institute graduate Paul Chan unpacks the violent and sexual themes of Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls through a pixelated video inspired by the self-taught artist's work. The 18-minute looping animation brings Darger's characters to life in vivid color, exploring the unsettling nature of the artist's dysfunctional utopia, which incorporates the realities of war and misguided politics.
The latest installment of the MCA's Chicago Works series showcases the hyper-detailed paintings of Mika Horibuchi. Using oil paints and linen canvases, Horibuchi creates images that are so realistic, they appear to be three-dimensional, including renderings of curtains and blinds that will fool all but the sharpest-eyed viewers.
Photographer Lucas Foglia considers the classic (and increasing) conflict between humanity and nature in his latest collection of images. Foglia depicts lush foliage seeping into urban environments and humanity encroaching upon remote landscapes, demonstrating how our conflicting desires have altered the environments we inhabit.
Refinery29's popular 29Rooms exhibition finally makes its way to Chicago for a four-day engagement, allowing guests to interact with 29 installations spread throughout a cavernous warehouse space. Throughout each three-hour session, you'll be able to walk along the keys of a giant typewriter, gaze at an intricate collage of neon signs, jump into a ball pit and have a pillow fight. A portion of proceeds from the event is donated to nonprofit partners.