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10 Must-See Art Exhibits Coming to Chicago This Fall

10 Must-See Art Exhibits Coming to Chicago This Fall

The fact that summer’s been hanging with an unbelievable Indian summer has made it all the more harder to come to terms with the fact that summer is certainly waving goodbye and won’t be here much longer to usher in fall temps and layered outfit season. With that in mind, its time to start planning your fall itnineray of things to do and one my favorite things to get into is some culture. We are so lucky in Chicago to have a wide variety of organizations and institutions to fill our culture needs especially when it comes to the arts and this fall there’s a something for everyone as we bring you our 10 must see art exhibits in Chicago this fall. This  curated selection is for any seasoned art lover to the rookie looking to get into art. One of the more exciting exhibits to catch is the one being presented at the Tadao Ando designed Wrightwood659 museum founded by uber quiet multi-millionaire Fred Eyechner. Get out your calendars because its time to add these exhibits around town to your fall list of things to do before they are gone.


wonder museum

LOCATION: wndr Museum  1130 W. Monroe Street Chicago 60607

“The newest exploration of wndr invites guests to “journey with us somewhere between Chapter 2 and 3” while exploring new installations and creating their own stories through thought-provoking, multisensory, interactive experiences. Following successful showings of Chapter 1 & 2, the experiential reimagined museum experience is embarking on yet another exploration. In A Hero’s Journey Through wndr, audiences will participate in self-reflective, narrative-driven activations that will surely excite and entertain.

ARTIST(S): Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince, and Alex Israel, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms.
DATES: September 21 –



Pictured: Olivia Block, Stephan Moore, Andy Slater, Walter Kitundu, Katherine Young, David Wallace Haskins, and Sam Pluta. Photo by Jean Lachat

LOCATION: Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue Chicago 60637

“This outdoor sound art exhibition, showcasing Chicago’s sound art scene, presents site-specific new works by nine Chicago artists that explore thresholds, passageways, and common spaces across the University of Chicago’s campus. For example, Twelve-channel sound installation by Lou Mallozzi will feature recitations performed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Jill Daly, Bruce Jenkins, and Kerry James Marshall in the Vera and A. D. Elden Sculpture Garden.”

ARTIST(S): Lou Mallozzi, Walter Kitundu, David Wallace Haskins, Sam Pluta, Katherine Young, Stephan Moore, Olivia Block, Nomi Epstein, Andy Slater
DATES: September 27-December 29 | 


Xijing Men, This is Xijing – The Life of the Xijing Presidents (Urban Planning), 2008



LOCATION: Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago 600 South Michigan Avenue Chicago 60605

ABOUT: Capturing nearly a decade of crucial artistic production in Asia (2007-2013), Third Realm curated by Davide Quadrio presents works by artists who use photography, film, installation, and performance to investigate liminal spaces. Covering a range of conceptual modalities and cultural contexts, these works disrupt binaries—of global and local, present and historical, spiritual and secular.”  This exhibit features artists from China, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. 

ARTIST(S): Birdhead, Cao Fei, Heman Chong, Comfortable Collective, FX Harsono, Jompet Kuswidananto, Lu Yang, Sutee Kunavichayanon, Surasi Kusolwong, Gary Ross Pastrana, Paola Pivi, Sun Xun, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Xijing Men, Yang Zhenzhong, and Zhou Xiaohu.
DATES: October 10-December 22.



LOCATION: Ukranian Institute of Modern Art | 2320 West Chicago Avenue Chicago 60622
ABOUT:Featuring the work of two artists, one Ukranian and one Puerto Rican, Forgotten Forms uses “everyday objects to reveal a much greater story about neighborhood identity, placemaking and city life. This exhibit is a collaboration between the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, the Ukranian Institute of Modern Art and the Chicago Cultural Alliance.”

ARTIST(S): Yhelena Hall and Edra Soto
DATES: October 11-December 5.


Andy Warhol: Mao, 1972. Acrylic, silkscreen ink, and graphite on linen, 14 feet 8 1⁄2 inches x 11 feet 4 1 ⁄2 inches.

LOCATION: Art Institute Chicago 111 South Michigan Avenue Chicago 60603

This exhibition, the first retrospective to be organized by a US institution in 30 years, brings together all aspects and periods of pop culture icon Andy Warhol’s varied and prolific career from paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, videos, archival and printed material, installation, film, to media works. More than 350 works building on the wealth of new research, scholarship, and perspectives offers a new view of the beloved and iconic American Pop artist since his early death in 1987. Through repetition, distortion, camouflage, and the recycling of images—and his own unique persona—Warhol continues to challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons.” 

ARTIST(S): Andy Warhol
DATES: October 20-January 26, 2020; member previews October 17-19. 


Stan Douglas, Evening, 1994. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Frances and Thomas Dittmer; and Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund. © Stan Douglas. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

LOCATION: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 220 E. Chicago Avenue Chicago 60611

ABOUT: This exhibit, curated by looks at the ways artists since the 1960s have used words to challenge our ideas about all of the messages we read, write, hear, and speak daily as well as their forms. In this innovative exhibition, that’s segmented into four sections of works that redefine how we understand communication, artists remix conventional modes of communication, challenging our perceptions of language and, by extension, power. In one section, Artworks, artist Jamal Cyrus extracted and layered pages of Malcom X’s FBI file, removed the text and inverted the redacted areas to create Cultr-Ops.

ARTIST(S): Stan Douglas, Jamal Cyrus, Lorna Simpson, Dara Birnbaum, Eugenio Dittborn, Howardena Pindell, Jenny Holzer, Robert Rauschenberg.
DATES: October 26-January 26, 2020.


Tetsuya Ishida, Sesshoku [Contact], 1998, Acrylic on board, 35.8 x 46 in, Private collection, USA.

LOCATION: Wrightwood 659 | 659 W. Wrightwood Chicago 60614

ABOUT: Across a short ten-year career, Tetsuya Ishida produced a formidable body of work centered on isolation and alienation in a world dominated by uncontrollable forces, where recurring images of school children and office workers would become a platform for asserting a forthright critique of education and labour systems driven by the imperatives of productivity and competitiveness. Before his untimely death in 2005, Ishida gives the experience of the contemporary subject a face as it explores the uncertainty and desolation of Japanese society, drastically altered by the technological advances and successive crises that have affected economies and politics the world over. This exhibit was organized by Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía. 

ARTIST(S): Tetsuya Ishida
DATES: October 3-December 14.


My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today at American Writers Museum

LOCATION: American Writers Museum 180 N. Michigan Avenue Chicago 60601
ABOUT: “Before you say, but this is writing, its not art! On the contrary, yes writing is a form of art, its what we do here and we are artists of the word. Celebrating refugee and immigrant writers with this new exhibit that explores the influence of modern immigrant and refugee writing on our culture, history and daily lives. Guests will get to experience, through interactive, intimate video conversations and in-person, deeply personal experience, bringing them face-to-face with contemporary authors who are immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

ARTIST(S): Gustavo Arellano, Dipika Mukherjee, Juan Martinez, Vu Tran, Louie Perez, Laila Halaby, Richard Rayner, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Julissa Arce.
DATES: November 21-.


Hugo Rivera-Scott, Pop América, 1968. Collage on cardboard, 30 x 21.5 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Hugo Rivera-Scott. Photo: Jorge Brantmayer



LOCATION: Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art Evanston IL 60208

ABOUT: Pop art took over the country back in the late 60s early 70s but as with most things back then in the art world that stifle work of artists of color, a good portion of artists that were not white were summarily overlooked. This exhibit curated by Esther Gabara examines the overlooked contributions of Latin American, Latino or Latina, as well as the Caribbean artists such as Judith Baca, Hugo Rivera Scott, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Jorge de la Vega, alongside Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Pop América features nearly 100 artworks by artists working in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the United States, sparking an expansion and reconsideration of Pop as a U.S. and British phenomenon. The exhibit which was presented at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University was awarded the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize in 2018 shared alongside MCA Chicago.

ARTIST(S): Antonio Dias, Rubens Gerchman, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, Cildo Meireles, Marta Minujín, Hugo Rivera-Scott, and Andy Warhol.
DATES: September 21-December 8, 2019
Opening celebration: September 28, 12–4pm
Opening keynote: October 2, 6pm, with Esther Gabara


Photo: Andrew Henderson



LOCATION: Chicago Artists Coalition 2130 W. Fulton Street Chicago 60612

ABOUT:“Emerging artists Devin T. Mays’ work, in its manifestation and engagement, requires a level of persistence and patience. Through memorabilia of his past, a collection of moving images and finds from a flea market, Mays has created new work that interrogates his desire to believe.

ARTIST(S): Devin T. Mays.
DATES: September 27 – November 7, 2019


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