New Exhibitions Open Sept 7 & 8: Part I

Publisher's Note: 

The start of the fall art season is arguably the biggest of the year. Nearly every gallery and museum opens a major exhibition and there is an energy that is unmistakable. We encourage you to try to see what interests you, visit old favorites and discover and explore new ones too. There is simply no way to see every new show on opening night, so don't limit yourself to which spaces have receptions and free wine. Visit when it's quieter on a Saturday morning or leave work early during the week and go with a friend. Galleries are also more than happy to set up private appointments and tours as well. 

For these early September exhibition previews we are indicating opening dates as well as neighborhood so that you can plan as best as possible. 

Happy gallery hopping and enjoy the fall! 



September 7

LOVE: Still Not the Lesser

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Sept 7–Dec 22 •  South Loop

Opening Sept 7, 5–8pm

LOVE: Still Not the Lesser brings together 12 international artists uniting across communities to share the ways they’ve encountered and understand love. Together, these artists explore dynamics within sensual eroticism, romantic partnership, family structures, social utopia, and life and death. The exhibition presents a world where love as a universal value of respect and care for all humans has been fully achieved.




Life Cycles: Learning Studio

DePaul University Art Museum (DPAM)

Sept 7, 2023 – Feb 11, 2024 • Lincoln Park

“Life Cycles” will include artworks from the DPAM's permanent collection in conversation with contemporary Chicago artists who are not yet represented in the collection. With more than 50 artists, “Life Cycles” will feature paintings, sculptures, video, photography, drawings, installation and other multi-media work. Museum staff collaborated with DePaul University undergraduates to select artworks from the collection, write educational texts, and plan public programs.


September 8


Chris Cosnowski: Morality Play

ENGAGE Projects

Sep 8 – Oct 14 • West Town

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5:30 – 8 pm

Cosnowski takes his hard-edged hyperrealism to another level using allegory, historical reference, and mass-produced objects to question today’s guidelines for moral development. Pairing real objects together to recreate symbols of nationalist ideologies, religious influences, and social constructs, Cosnowski dismantles propaganda simply by asking questions with paint. The title Morality Play references Cosnowski’s light-hearted representations of cultural objects that elucidate just how fragile, yet persistently ubiquitous these ideas can be. 


Lauren Wy: The Runner

Western Exhibitions

Sep 8 – Oct 28 • West Town

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

The Runner, a new animated film and project series by Lauren Wy, foregrounds her second solo show at Western Exhibitions. Taking a cue from late 60’s and early 70’s films, especially Le Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard, the animation and its attendant sculptural edition distill the spirit of fantasy escapism, of running away into a dream.

Wy’s animated film is a surrealist collage experiment utilizing analog processes with digital tools and altered frame rates to create a time-based pseudo-narrative drawing that embraces a raw provisionality. The short film is presented alongside a series of large-scale drawings and paintings on thin, mechanically flat synthetic surfaces.


Bassim Al Shaker: Four Minutes

Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Sep 8 – Oct 21 • West Town

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

Bassim Al Shaker is an Iraqi artist based in the United States. Bassim was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, during a period of political conflict and humanitarian torment. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Baghdad College of Fine Arts, with a focus on drawing and painting. His style is the culmination of a background in academic drawing and painting techniques and exploration in contemporary art.


In The Mist of a Great Fall: The Niagara Paintings

Oliva Gallery

Sep 8 – Oct 7 • Logan Square

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 9 pm

In this, his third solo-exhibition, Curtis Anthony Bozif broadens the scope of his recent work, informed by environments of the Great Lakes, to include the falls at Niagara. This new series of large-scale abstractions, rooted in observation and in place, assay tone and the prismatic color spectrum.


Stephen Burks: Spirit Houses

Volume Gallery

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

Sep 8 – Oct 28 • West Town

A series of modern altars, Spirit Houses builds upon Burks’ radical design speculation in the form of six unique typologies contemplating spirituality in our contemporary lives. The accompanying essay “On Cosmologies: Stephen Burks Approaches the Sacred” by Najha Zigbi Johnson, offers deeper reflection into the religio-spiritual origins of Burks’ newest body of work.


Jimmy DeSana: Suburban


Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

Sep 8 – Oct 28 • West Town

DeSana's series Suburban not only challenges the divide between artistic and commercial photography that was still prevalent in the 1970s, but also a range of other commonly held binaries such as male and female, gay and straight, domination and submission, suburban culture and private self-exploration, standardized domesticity and the subjectivity of sexual pleasure, among others. Yet, by staging puzzling domestic scenarios with nude figures under colorful tungsten lights, DeSana did not intend to step into the territory of erotic photography. Instead, he used the body to resignify daily objects and spaces, ultimately shedding light on the strangeness of suburban lives dominated by consumerism.


Lee Stanton: Out of the Blue

ARC Gallery

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

Thru Sept 23 • West Town

According to Buddha, “When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

White on blue. A line. An identifiable path created by a point moving in space. Look up! Lines, a trail of condensed water from an aircraft at high altitude, a white streak across the sky. Intangible, the sky has no surface; it cannot be turned into a thing or given a quantity. It may represent infinity, eternity, immortality, transcendence, or simply inspiration.



Tom Robinson & Loralyn Kumlin

SoNa Chicago Art Gallery

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 5 – 8 pm

Sep 8 – Oct 14 • Wicker Park / Bucktown

In the early months of isolation during the pandemic, artists Tom Robinson and Loralyn Kumlin began renovating a huge vintage dollhouse that they found discarded in a Chicago alley. They collected and furnished the rooms with miniature furniture and accessories and then made miniature copies of their full-scale artwork to adorn the walls of the dollhouse. Wonderful work emerged from that effort as they moved on to create their own structures, paintings, and miniatures. Their new work and the dollhouse are featured in the exhibition.