Art Historians, Cyborgs, and Drag Queens Share the Art Spotlight This February

Courtesy of Chicago Art Department/Facebook

Topics of politics, whiteness, and cyborgs headline this next batch of upcoming art events and openings in Chicago. Plus, do something different for Valentine’s Day by attending a queer variety show at the Museum of Contemporary Art!

“What I Really Want to Tell You…” at Mana Contemporary
This colorful group show brings together 13 artists making work that reflects their relationship to their country, Brazil. Spanning several generations, they present cultural, social, and political histories as well as contemporary issues.
Details: January 30

Randolpho Lamonier, América Latina (Latin America), 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

“Girls’ World” at Hofheimer Gallery
See how two different artists—and mothers—observe and enshrine the ineffable nature and interactions of young girls. Melissa Ann Pinney’s photographs capture her subjects in raw, celebratory moments, complementing Judith Raphael’s paintings that hover between reality and dreams.
Details: February 7

“Now With More Extra!” at Line Dot Editions
Chicago painter Sean Hannaway presents new paintings in this solo exhibition that further explore his style of depicting High Renaissance subjects in graffiti aesthetics. All the work will be on sale, and we suggest you arrive early to claim any that catches your eye.
Details: February 7

Unlearning Art History at Hilton Chicago Hotel
The Association for Critical Race Art History presents this roundtable of art historians, discussing how whiteness has shaped art historical narratives and canons. More important, they will talk about ways to shift the conversation by doing antiracist work in spaces such as museums, as well as in classroom curricula.
Details: February 14

“Cyborgs: Ancient & Current—Imagining & Performance” at Chicago Art Department
Escape reality for an evening at this exhibition, which celebrates all things cyborg through art. Using virtual reality, performance, digital fabrication, and other media, a dozen or so artists explore the aesthetics and implications of artificial intelligence.
Details: February 14

“Odd Pleasures” at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Spend Valentine’s Day with your crush at a queer variety show, hosted by drag queen Aunty Chan. The program will feature everything from comedy to live ASMR, and is accompanied by an art-making session-discussion on gender, feminism, and capitalism.
Details: February 14

Jessie Edelman, Wondering, 2019. Oil on canvas. 30 x 49.5 inches. Courtesy of Andrew Rafacz Gallery.

Jessie Edelman at Andrew Rafacz Gallery
Lose yourself in the Brooklyn artist’s paintings, which center on (mostly) young women lolling in serene Impressionist-inspired landscapes. Backs toward you, they are mysterious and intriguing, inviting you to place yourself in their position.
Details: February 28

“Seeing Chicago” at Museum of Contemporary Art
The Nigeria-born British fashion designer Duro Olowu has curated a major exhibition that is not to be missed. Olowu, drawing from public and private art collections around Chicago, presents art that continues to inspire him, by luminaries such as Kerry James Marshall and Richard Hunt.
Details: February 29