Fall Preview – Part II: West and South Side September Openings


Last weekend's crush of openings put gallery-goers in the mood to see new art, meet artists and to take stock of what's new and exciting in area galleries and museums. 

The momentum continues this weekend, primarily on the south and west sides, when dozens more shows open, building anticipation as we head into the second half of September. There is a lot of important art being shown this month in Chicago by artists from around the country and around the world, giving gallery visitors a chance to travel to and consider matters around the globe without leaving home.

Obviously there is a lot of great art to see, and these are just a few highlights from this coming September weekend around the city. We will share more of the season's highlights and coverage as the fall goes on, and don't forget to view our full calendar of events

Enjoy the season of art, and see you in the galleries! 


Thursday, September 13

David Hockney: Time and More, Space and More... at Richard Gray Gallery (the west side warehouse location) is an exhibition of new work by the artist (we spotted pictures of the octogenarian out on a Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise this week with gallery staff!) The show presents Hockney’s recent video and camera-based works in tandem. Making its gallery debut at the center of the exhibition is Hockney’s multi-part video installation The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods, 2010-2011, which was exhibited in 2017 at Centre Georges Pompidou and Tate Britain. The work is composed of four 9-channel video walls and arranged within the space like the cardinal directions of a compass rose. Depicting the same view down a tree-lined country road in Yorkshire, each wall distinctively captures one of the four seasons.


Friday, September 14

Torkwase Dyson: James Samuel Madison, a show of new work by this Brooklyn-based artist opens Friday at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Dyson considers spatial relations an urgent question both historically and in the present day. Through abstract paintings, Dyson grapples with ways space is perceived and negotiated particularly by black and brown bodies.  Explorations of how the body unifies, balances, and arranges itself to move through natural and built environments become both expressive and discursive structures within the work.  


Gut Rehab: Edie Fake at Western Exhibitions is one of several shows opening in West Town this Friday night. The show, featuring 12 elaborately patterned and intensely personal paintings make up the artist's second solo show at the gallery. Fake’s paintings start as self-portraits, and from there, they make a break for it, referencing elements of the trans and non-binary body through pattern, color and architectural metaphor. 


Candice Lin: A Hard White Body, a Porous Slip at the Logan Center opens Friday night. A tour led by the artist takes place the same evening. Los Angeles-based artist Candice Lin creates sculptural environments that breathe, seep, ferment, and decay. Working with an arsenal of sculptural forms that include finely crafted objects, organisms such as plants, insects, and bacteria, and natural compounds, Lin interrogates the ways in which histories of power and marginality are inscribed into bodies and into the natural world.


Saturday, September 15

The Time is Now! a major new exhibition at the Smart Musuem of Art in Hyde Park offers an immersive examination of the South Side, as told by the art and artists who shaped its contours— from the Chicago Imagists to the Black Arts Movement. The Time is Now! reassesses the story of postwar Chicago art through a nuanced look at the artists living, working, and exhibiting on the South Side. Presented as part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy spearheaded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. While the show begins Thursday, an opening event, Celebrating South Side Stories,  takes place September 15, 11am–6pm


Shadi Habib Allah: Put to Rights opens Saturday night at The Renaissance Society with an artist talk at 6pm. Habib Allah is a New York and Miami-based Palestinian artist who works across film, sculpture, and installation, often drawing on a process of deep research and on-the-ground engagement in specific locales. Richly varied in form and focus, his projects run the gamut from reimagining a ghost story from 1930s Jerusalem to traveling along illicit trade routes with Bedouin smugglers.


Hyde Park Art Center has a mega-celebration on Saturday for Solid Gold Saturday

The Art of Being Dangerous, Curated by Erin Toale. Public Critique, 1–3pm and reception 3–5pm
• Open Studios, 2–5pm Welcome Jackman Goldwasser International Artist, Nadim Abbas who will be visiting from Hong Kong    • Free Family Art-Making Activites, 1–4pm. Be like the Hairy Who, or Ralph Arnold! 


Liliana Porter's Memorabilia, opening Saturday at Carrie Secrist Gallery, presents highlights from a celebrated and dedicated artistic career of giving voice to the Everyperson. Through the use of found inanimate objects, Porter posits the human condition as fragile and curious, yet full of wonder. Born in Argentina in 1941, Porter is a member of a pioneering wave of Latinx artists who have mined identity socio-politics using then-new strands of contemporary art making to forge engaging methods of aesthetic engagement. 


Firelei Báez's work at Kavi Gupta Gallery's West Washington space employs humor, figuration, and fantasy to explore the narratives and myths that affect the creation and expression of personal identity and social mores. Báez is interested in identity, culture, and the divisions humans create between each other. Born in a city on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the stark contrast between the poverty of Haiti and the abundance of the Dominica Republic is one element that permeates her work. When she was 10, her family moved to the United States. There, she encountered new racial and gender biases that challenged her to think about what identity means and how it separates some people and unifies others. Her work explores these themes in context with the narratives of the past and the many potential futures she perceives.


PATRON opens Bethany Collins, Undersong on Saturday. Undersong makes use of three texts—translations of The Odyssey; classified ads placed by former slaves searching for family; and patriotic hymns. The first format of Homer’s poem of nostos was passed down orally. “Lost Friends” ads were subsequently read aloud in church services to reach a broader audience. And patriotic hymns achieve national unity only through their collective voice. The vocalization of these texts becomes the undersong—the burden of the song; the chorus; the refrain—of an American landscape, one that feels intimately familiar, yet estranging.


Sanford Biggers has a show of new work opening at Monique Meloche Saturday night. Biggers roots his practice in the excavation of histories to shed light on the present. Having recently spent a year in Rome as a 2017 American Academy Fellow in Visual Arts, Biggers has created a new body of marble sculptures which develop the artist’s use of classical materials as a means of destabilizing and reconfiguring their historical evocations. In addition to these marble works, the exhibition will also comprise a new group of quilt paintings and wall reliefs that are demonstrative of Biggers’ eclectic, trans-historical practice.


Sunday, September 16

Sabina Ott: All Flowers Tell Me is a special exhibition collaboration between Tiger Strikes Asteroid, the artist run space where Ott was an active member, and her gallery Aspect/RatioAll Flowers Tell Me celebrates the many facets of Ott’s career by exhibiting works previously not shown in Chicago. On view is part of her Sub Rosa series consisting of rich encaustic paintings that celebrate the richness and generosity that represents Sabina Ott. An opening reception takes place Sunday from 12–4 at TSA's new space at Mana Contemporary. 


View our full art calendar at and sort by date and event type.


Top images from left: Edie Fake, Liliana Porter, Carolyn Lawrence