Weekend Art Highlights: February 28–29

By CGN Staff

February is quickly drawing to a close, even with one more day in the month this leap year. This weekend there are a handful of notable exhibitions opening in galleries and art spaces around the city, from Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1. 

Our overview of highlights from this coming weekend is below, and our full calendar may be viewed here.

See you in the galleries!


Tony Tasset: The Weight

Opening Friday, February 28, 5–8 pm

Kavi Gupta Gallery

A Post-Atomic visual troubadour, Tony Tasset continues to define the vanguard of Pop Conceptualism. From the monumental stoicism of a massive fiberglass Eye sculpture watching over downtown Dallas (but was also once sited in Chicago) like a Neo-Surrealist sentinel, to a slumping, exhausted Paul Bunyan (at suburban Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park) that pays sad tribute to manifest destiny gone awry, to the frailty and nuanced melancholy of a to-scale sculpture of a ripped Styrofoam cup, Tasset has demonstrated, time and again, a unique ability to memorialize the peculiar beauty and pathos of the American visual vernacular.

For The Weight, Tasset mined the innermost provinces of the contemporary human psyche, responding to the anxiety of our times with wit, gravitas, and salt-of-the-earth sagacity. 



Opening Friday, February 28, 5–8 pm

VOLUME Gallery

Volume Gallery has focused on design and art, with a strong emphasis placed on emerging contemporary designers and artists for a decade now. On Friday night they will open an exhibition to mark the milestone and spotlight the gallery's roster of artists, including Tanya Aguiñiga, Ross Hansen, Sung Jang, Ania Jaworska, Krueck + Sexton, Snarkitecture, Christy Matson, Jonathan Muecke, Anders Ruhwald, Sam Stewart and Thaddeus Wolfe.


NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayon (1967–1999)

Opening Friday, February 28, 5–8 pm

Chicago Cultural Center

This landmark retrospective is the first in the U.S. dedicated to the work of Belkis Ayón, the late Cuban visual artist and printmaker who mined the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban fraternal society of Abukuá to create an independent and powerful visual iconography. The exhibition’s 47 prints encompass a wide range of the artist’s graphic production including her signature calligraphy technique, a printing process combining materials of various textures and absorbencies.


Miller & Shellabarger: Homo-entanglement

Opening Friday, February 28, 5–8 pm

Western Exhibitions

Married artist collaborators Miller & Shellabarger explore physicality, duality, time and romantic ideals in their multidisciplinary work. Performance, photography, artists’ books, sculpture and cut paper silhouettes document the rhythms of human relationships, speaking both to common experiences of intimacy as well as the specifics of queer identities. For their third show at Western Exhibitions, Miller & Shellabarger present artists’ books, prints, photographs, and a cut-paper installation that address their ongoing concerns with an emphasis on entanglement, compression of time, mortality, and bodily and temporal limitations.


René Romero Schuler

Opening Friday, February 28, 5–8 pm

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

René Romero Schuler creates powerful images of strength and vulnerability that speak to the heart of the human condition: love, sorrow, solitude, and heartbreak. Through these depictions of difficult subjects, she aims to inspire her viewers with hope, fortitude, and ultimately, enduring strength. The figures Schuler captures are equal parts self-portraiture and portraits of the range of human emotions that she has experienced in her all-too-colorful life. 


Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago

Opening Saturday, February 29

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Nigerian-born British designer Duro Olowu is internationally recognized for his womens wear label launched in 2004. Characterized by unique fabrics, evocative patterns, and impeccable construction, the London-based designer’s garments are informed by his international background and curator’s eye. Olowu’s multinational and multicultural viewpoint has translated into wildly popular platforms and projects from his dynamic Instagram account to his revelatory curatorial projects in London and New York.

Now Olowu turns his cosmopolitan eye to Chicago. Drawing from the city’s public and private art collections including works in the MCA’s collection, Olowu curates a show that reimagines relationships between artists and objects across time, media, and geography. Moving away from traditional exhibition formats, Olowu combines photographs, paintings, sculptures, and films in dense and textural scenes that incorporate his own work.