Weekend Openings in West Town


The first week of April was a busy start to 'spring' openings, but now that new shows, for the most part, no longer happen on just a single big busy night in the city – they're happening nearly every weekend in various neighborhoods – there are actually more opportunities to spend time visiting smaller groups of galleries at once, rather than making the mad dash to see 15 shows in one night or having to see some shows at the expense of others. 

Friday night, April 19, is a chance to visit the five spaces – at 1709–1711 W Chicago Ave – that cemented West Town as a new and growing gallery destination and to see the strong range of art that is being exhibited. 

This is the season after the first big openings of the year and before the summer group shows. There will be a lot to see and talk about Friday, and then more shows will continue to open, as they do now, through next week and into the first weekend of May. 

The highlights are listed below, and our full calendar may be viewed here

Have a plastic glass of wine on us, as we pull all-nighters to get the summer issue of CGN off to the printer on Tuesday!


Laura Letinsky, To Want for Nothing 25, 2018, Archival pigment print. Edition of 7.

Laura Letinsky: To Want for Nothing

Opening: Friday, Apr 19, 2019 5–8 pm


Letinsky is a Chicago-based photographer who is also a Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago. Known for her contemporary still lifes, the work in this show is also accompanied by poetry of Danielle Dutton. 

“When I was little I used to take a blade and cut the faces off models in my mother’s magazines. In the scene I was looking at, this book the narrator was reading, the one I thought I knew, was gone. In her hands was a blank white space in the shape of a book I’d read. But it was also, for a moment, like I’d been cut away—just a white shape on the sheets where I and my material needs had been.” —Danielle Dutton, 2019

Document will also be exhibiting Greg Stimac: Amulet in Gallery 2.



Binky & Tony Forever, 2009, Pigmented inkjet print, 37 x 43.25 inches, print, 38 x 44.25 inches, framed, Edition 6 of 6.

Deana Lawson & Dru Donovan

Opening: Friday, Apr 19, 2019 5–7:30 pm

Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Deana Lawson is a photo-based artist whose work examines the body’s ability to channel personal and social histories, addressing themes of familial legacy, community, romance, and spiritual aesthetics. Her practice borrows from simultaneous visual traditions, ranging from photographic and figurative portraiture, social documentary aesthetics, and vernacular family album photographs. Lawson is visually inspired by the materiality of black culture and its expression as seen through the body and in domestic environments. 

Dru Donovan (b. St. Paul, MN) received a BFA in photography from California College of the Arts in 2004 and an MFA in photography from Yale School of Art in 2009, where she was awarded the Richard Benson prize for excellence. In 2011 TBW Books published her first book, Lifting Water. She has said, "I use photography to look, interact, escape, control and be invited in and I decided that reinvestigating these moments in a similar way would help me make visual sense of what had happened. The act of revisiting and looking at these different gestures and then making photographs of these directed moments helped me to work through the mourning process and the complexities of the situation." Donovan lives and works in Portland, OR. 


Paul Nudd: Plastic Blastula

Opening: Friday, Apr 19, 2019 5–8 pm

Western Exhibitions

For his fourth solo show, Plastic Blastula, at Western Exhibitions, Paul Nudd presents a selection of large-scale paintings depicting an ambiguous and chaotic prenatal cosmic universe, densely populated by a series of many rapidly transforming and colliding embryonic cleavages. Collectively they can be seen as a forceful and monumental continuation of many of Nudd’s aesthetic and formal obsessions: bodies in distress, molecular anxiety, blobs and biomorphic abstraction, disease, malformation, mutation and uncontrollable biological forces. 

A blastula is a pre-embryonic cellular blob of matter that eventually morphs into a fetus. Plasticity similarly induces a development or transmutation of nature as plastic is created through a seemingly science-fiction derived embryonic mass production. Both blastulas and plastics can be deformed in any direction, but plastic differs from these pre-embryonic forms in that it is materially permanent and impenetrable. Plastic is unnatural and can be molded and stretched to fit in or around anything.  If birth is rupture, plastic birth is rupture without rupture.

In Nudd’s worldview, Plastic Blastula walks the line between cautionary apocalyptic tale and orgiastic revelry.

Western Exhibitions is also opening the first show of work by Julia Schmitt Healy featuring a selection of textile works from the early 1970s — a series of ballpoint on handkerchief drawings and a grouping of tufted watercolor on muslin pieces that exist somewhere between painting, pillows and soft sculpture.



Thomas Leinberger

Thomas Weinberger: Interior

Opening: Friday, Apr 19, 2019 6–8 pm

Volume Gallery

Thomas Leinberger is a designer based in Chicago, IL. He designs furniture, objects and installations out of his studio in Garfield Park. INTERIOR gives the viewer a considerable insight into Leinberger’s conceptual exploration of the interior and the role of objects in space. Inspired in part by his great interest in early modernist interior design and the continuum of designed objects, the pieces in the exhibition were first imagined as interventions in historical interiors, considering how they would activate in these environments and in turn, the space transformed by their introduction. These objects are conceived to participate in everyday functions of support and furbishing, yet they also possess autonomy outside of their utility. 

Leinberger’s continued interest in the monolith is evident throughout the exhibition. Their single forms lack signifiers of “furniture” other than their distinctly domestic scale and implied function. Their existence is not substantiated by the functionality, like a readymade who changes in context, these objects lend themselves to all kinds of speculative use. Through this work, Leinberger continues to exemplify design that resists the strict functionalism that’s associated with object design, instead, his work quietly invites us to imagine how an object is capable inexhaustible ways of being. 

Amadeo Morelos

Amadeo Morelos > Reps

Opening: Friday, Apr 19, 2019 5–8 pm

Paris London Hong Kong

Amadeo Morelos’ recent paintings depict grotesque figures pleading for sympathy and acclaim. Using humor and absurdity, he re-configures autobiographical symbols and the visual language of bodybuilding culture and Greek mythology to suffuses the mundane with fantastical proportions. As canvas is substituted with fabric reminiscent of posing trunks, these paintings recall an incomplete body that is built through external expectation. Morelos received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.