Kour Pour, ABRASH at Shane Campbell Gallery
The work of British artist Kour Pour follows the long tradition of Persian rugs, but rather than weaving, he paints intricate designs on canvas. Each is visually dense, their surfaces covered with patterns and figures you wouldn’t find on a typical carpet. See them as you should—in person, and up close.
Date: November 3-December 8
Michael Rakowitz: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (Room Z, Northwest Palace of Nimrud) at Rhona Hoffman
For over a decade, Michael Rakowitz and his assistants have been reconstructing hundreds of looted or destroyed architectural artifacts from Iraq, using the colorful detritus of food packaging and newspapers. You’ll have a chance to see some of the largest works from this ambitious series at this show, which features life-size homages to mural reliefs in the now-destroyed Northwest Palace of Nimrud.
Date: November 2-December 21
… for those who bear/bare witness… at Monique Meloche Gallery
This new series of tapestries and hand-cut paper works by Ebony G. Patterson is characteristically dazzling, composed of glitter, stickers, rhinestones and other eye-catching material towards which the Jamaican artist gravitates. It results from her recent study of gardens, and like many of Patterson’s previous bodies of work, capture ugly or violent histories despite their visual beauty.
Date: November 15-December 22
This is not a pothole. Anymore. Meet Artist Jim Bachor at Scheme Gallery
You might curse potholes, but for Jim Bachor, they present an opportunity for art-making. The mosaicist is famous for covering dents in the roads with tiles that depict food, animals and even portraits of politicians. Ask him how he gets away with it (or doesn’t) at this Q&A, where Bachor will also be signing limited-edition prints of his latest installation.
Date: November 16
Millennium Park Art Market
Art markets can be hit-or-miss. Most of the time, vendors are offering super crafty goods that can verge on kitsch. This new (and free) fair is poised to be worth your time; for sale are truly original items made by student artists attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. You’ll be supporting budding talent and getting an early start on your holiday shopping.
Date: November 16
Chicago Art Book Fair at the Chicago Athletic Association
If you love artists’ books, zines, comics or simply want to support small presses, this is one annual event you can’t miss. Dozens of exhibitors, many based in the Midwest, are converging to talk sell, buy and trade affordable treasures. CAB is a little smaller than Printed Matters’ legendary art book fairs in New York City and Los Angeles, but there’s plenty to check out—and navigating it is also much more pleasant.
Date: November 16-18
New Blood XII at Links Hall
Time-based and ephemeral, performance art can be a particularly challenging medium to appreciate and interpret. This annual festival of performance work by students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is meant to open dialogue and explore the concerns of contemporary performance art. With dozens of artists on the lineup, you’ll be witness to a diverse range of perspectives.
Date: November 17
Chicago New Media Remix Night at Gallery 400
This is a guaranteed-fun evening tied to a fascinating exhibition on the overlooked history of new media art in Chicago. Placing eye-popping works of decades-past in conversation with today’s technologies, contemporary artists will show video games that they made by adapting artworks in the show.
Date: November 28
Hairy Who? Lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago
Who were the Hairy Who? If you’re unfamiliar with the six artists who made up this wildly creative, irreverent collective from the late ‘60s, this lecture is for you. In conjunction with the Art Institute’s current exhibition celebrating the short-lived Chicago-based group, researcher Thea Liberty Nichols is leading participants through the show and discussing notable works on view.
Date: November 30
Preservation Snapshots at Chicago Architecture Center
The popular river boat architecture tours of downtown Chicago are fantastic, but they’re limited to, well, the water route. To learn more about the architecture of the city’s South Side, check out this lecture by South Side architecture critic and photographer Lee Bey, which is organized by the nonprofit Landmarks Illinois. Bey has dedicated his work to pushing against negative perceptions that certain neighborhoods have little value.
Date: November 30