Spring 2023 Preview

New Growth 2 (triptych), 2021Gio Swaby. Collection of Rasheed Newson. © Gio Swaby. Opening April 8 at the Art Institute of Chicago


Our calendar is full this spring, and we want to call your attention to just a few notable upcoming events. They take place in the city, suburbs, and in neighboring states. We include gallery shows, land art, and museum blockbusters. Plan ahead and enjoy what's on view now through May. 

The only thing they each have in common is that they will all end, so don't miss out! We will share a summer preview later this season. 

Note: exhibitions are listed in chronological order and begin in April and May, 2023.




Vertical Gallery 10 Year Anniversary Show 

March 11 – April 29

Featuring AlexFace, Martin Whatson, Flog, 2CHOEY, Hama Woods, Sergio Farfan, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Mr. Kreme, Mau Mau, and Pipsqueak Was Here!!! 

The exhibition celebration will take place in two parts:

• Part I - at Vertical Project Space

This special exhibit will feature 4 works each from 10 Chicago-based artists: Chris Uphues, Rae Denise (Rachael Scotland), AJ Ainscough, Laura Catherwood, Van Dam One, Goosenek, Melissa Villareal, Angel Onofre, Matt Zuska and Jordan Ferguson.

• Part II - at Vertical Gallery 

Featuring 4 new paintings each from: AlexFace (TH), Martin Whatson (NO), Flog (FR), 2CHOEY (TH), Hama Woods (NO), Sergio Farfan (US), Collin Van Der Sluijs (NL), Mr. Kreme (TH), Mau Mau (UK), and Pipsqueak Was Here!!! (NL)




Michiko Itatani: Infinite Hope

April 5–June 3. Opening April 14

Jean Albano Gallery

Jean Albano Gallery recently welcomed Michiko Itatani to the gallery's roster and this is her first exhibition with the gallery.  

Michiko Itatani’s artmaking process starts with gathering various fragments from experiences, events, documents, literature, history, science, myths, customs, etc. She catalogues those fragments, mutates them, makes images, and lets them interact with each other. Itatani’s painting is a painted diagram of some of the possibilities, consisting of painting vocabularies that are both fascinating and painful at the same time: it is incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry.


Jaume Plensa: Forgotten Dreams

April 7–June 3                       


The exhibition is centered around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) text. Drafted by representatives from all regions of the world and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, the UDHR is a milestone document in the history of human rights, proclaiming a common standard of fundamental political liberties to be universally protected for all people and all nations. Plensa describes the UDHR as “one of the most beautiful and emotional poems ever written.  Its extraordinary poetic power interrogates us; each article like a hand knocking on the door to our hearts.” 



Alone Against It All, 2022. 5.5’ x 5.5’. Hand-felted wool, handwoven hand-spun wool, angelina fiber, bamboo fiber, silk, and recycled sari silk.

Bryana Bibbs: Numb

April 7–May 6               

Oliva Gallery

Numb is an exhibition highlighting the fast and slow navigation of past and current experiences through the use of intricacy, color, and form.

Telling stories of trauma and mental health is not always easy, based on the stigmas in our society, which is how it became a central motivation in my practice. There are parallels between the slow navigation of personal experiences and the rhythmic textile techniques of hand-carding, hand-spinning, and handweaving, both of which are a form of transformative repetition. While working between traditional and experimental processes, my large-scale pieces navigate past experiences in what I consider to be "chapters." Whereas small-scale works are similar to journaling, channeling day-to-day observations.

With ongoing tactility and material investigation, the works inspire an internal space that is externalized through the play of intricacy, color, and form, often inspired by the fluidity of mark-making and tone associated with painting.

Love Letter 1, 2018. Gio Swaby. Collection of Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman. © Gio Swaby

Gio Swaby: Fresh Up

April 8–July 3

The Art Institute of Chicago

Gio Swaby is a multidisciplinary artist whose textile-based practice explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood.

Her embroidered portraits are anchored in the connections she forges with her subjects: each portrait begins with a photo shoot in which her sitters are captured in a moment of self-awareness and empowerment. In her textile interpretations, Swaby foregrounds their hair, clothing, and jewelry—highlighting and celebrating the subjects’ use of fashion as unapologetic self-definition and self-expression. Having grown up in the Bahamas surrounded by the materials her seamstress mother used, Swaby chose to work in textiles—a medium traditionally associated with domesticity and femininity—as a means to imbue her works with both familiarity and labor-intensive care. She upends tradition, however.



Patrick Eugène, 50 LBS

Apr 13–May 20

Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

“50 pounds” is a common weight restriction airline companies enforce on travelers. But what if you had to carry your entire life with you? With just fifty pounds of luggage, is one meant to summon up and journey with the entirety of their life?

Patrick Eugène’s paintings are tributes, ones formed not from reference photographs, but from a natural likeness and resemblance to his ancestry. The paintings persist and evoke dignity, refinement, and optimism. Clothing is thrown into bags in fury and with urgency. The figures' expressions are full of hope, worry, and slight anticipation. Through portraits of subjects on the outset of a journey, both physical and mental, Eugène emphasizes the radical effect migration can have on countries and people, even uninvolved.



The Lunch Drawings: Tony Fitzpatrick

April 12–May 21

Povos Gallery

The Lunch Drawings: Tony Fitzpatrick with Hannah Chavez, Owen Spryszak, Messejah Washington, Sierra Severson. Works of art created by Fitzpatrick during his lunch breaks in 2022.


Patric McCoy: Take My Picture 

Apr 14–Jul 15, 2023

Wrightwood 659

In the 1980s, Patric McCoy traveled around Chicago on his bike, always with his camera, finding no shortage of Black men who wanted their picture taken. The exhibition is a selection of 50 photographs from this rich document of 1980s Black gay Chicago. HIV/AIDS hit Black men especially hard. Thousands would die by the end of the decade. Take My Picture is marker of place, time, and memory. It is an altar to those lost.


Edra Soto: Destination/El Destino

Apr 22–Aug 6, 2023 

Hyde Park Art Center

Destination/El Destino: a decade of GRAFT is the largest exhibition to date of Puerto Rican artist Edra Soto. Rooted in themes of cultural hybridity, the exhibition addresses the unsung influence of Afro-diasporic cultures on Puerto Rico’s decorative architecture. An exhibition highlight is a new, large-scale commission of the artist’s GRAFT series with porous sculptures, documentary photographs, drawings, and games that activate the Art Center’s indoor/outdoor main gallery.


Robert LostutterNight Garden
graphite on paper
20 1/2 x 31 inches
signed bottom right

Robert Lostutter

Corbett vs. Dempsey

May 5–Jun 17

Robert Lostutter is best known for his brightly colored paintings of mysterious male figures wearing elaborate feathered and flowered masks. However, in the late 1960s and early 1970s Lostutter produced a number of small watercolors and drawings of female subjects where he began to explore many of the elements seen in his later paintings. Inspired by Richard Lindner’s practice of taking trips to Bloomingdale’s and watching women self-consciously trying on clothes, the girls in these watercolors share both the fascination with costume that would come to characterize Lostutter’s later work, and the preoccupation with complicated undergarments held by many of his Imagist colleagues. In contrast to the overt imagery of the women and their clothing, Lostutter also introduces ambiguous surreal elements like a bizarre floating gloved hand, dancing zaps and splashes that are made three-dimensional, and strategically placed, exuberantly blooming flowers. 

Lostutter often made these works on paper in preparation for larger paintings on canvas.