Autumn Art Events in Chicago Include Latin Films, One-of-a-Kind Furniture, and Pyrotechnics

Photo courtesy of Terrain Biennial/Facebook

Temps may be cooling, but Chicago’s art scene is just heating up. In the weeks to come, look for events, exhibitions, and happenings, like the Terrain Biennial, Latin American short films, a furniture expo, and even a pyrotechnic spectacle.

Terrain Biennial 2019
From Venice to Shanghai to Sharjah, art biennials are chaotic, money-drenched, and mostly elitist endeavors. In Chicago, we have one that seems more like an antiart biennial. This contemporary art showcase takes over typically private, residential spaces in an array of neighborhoods—think: humble porches, yards, and windows. More than a biennial, though, it’s an unconventional way to explore this creative city.
Details: October 7

“Ism, Ism, Ism” at the Block Museum of Art
Get acquainted with Latin America’s experimental film history with this program of short films, ranging in length from two to 70 minutes. It’s presented as part of a specially curated program of cinema that centers on works made between the 1930s and the 2000s.
Details: October 11

Jeffrey Gibson, Without You I’m Nothing, 2018. Photo by Pete Mauney

Tour of Elmhurst College’s Chicago Imagist Collection at Elmhurst Art Museum
Iconoclastic and now iconic, the Chicago Imagists carved out one of the most important chapters in the city’s art history. For a primer on their works, head to this special tour of the museum’s newly reinstalled Imagist collection, led by none other than Suellen Rocca—one of the artists who helped birth the movement.
Details: October 19

“Fifty Shades of Marvin Tate” at the Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Multihyphenate artist Tate, whose art, poems, songs, and more have long been inspired by this city, currently has a solo exhibition at the museum. This will be an opportunity to experience some of his very personal writing live, in the form of spoken word to soul.
Details: October 24

Artist Talk: Jeffrey Gibson at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The Choctaw-Cherokee painter and sculptor is having quite a year: Inclusion in the Whitney Biennial and award of a MacArthur “genius” grant rank among his recent accolades. Hear Gibson discuss his practice, which weaves together Native American traditions and contemporary issues, during this free lecture. When it’s over, head to Kavi Gupta gallery to check out his not-to-be-missed solo exhibition.
Details: October 28

Adela Goldbard, Mission Accomplished, 2016. Wood, reeds, newspaper, paint, fireworks, HD video, and stereo sound/pyrotechnic performance at Gallery Gil/Zarate, Mexico City.

SOFA Expo at Navy Pier
Get some home shopping done at this art fair, where international galleries show and sell one-of-a-kind furniture designs and decorative sculptures. Need a break from the dealers? Sign up to attend a lecture or artist demonstration.
Details: October 31–November 3

Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation at the Block Museum
A relaxing way to spend your afternoon: This lineup of animation is unlike most others, with a focus on abstraction and experimentation. Find your seat and soak in the short works starring eccentric characters sure to muddle your mind in the best possible way.
Details: November 2

“The Last Judgment/El Juicio Final” at La Villita Park
Here’s one memorable way to end an exhibition: Adela Goldbard is hosting this public pyrotechnic event, in which her sculptures will be set on fire in a ritualistic purge of social ills. The works, which resemble props from a stage set, were made in collaboration with a collective of Mexican craftsmen and Little Village residents.
Details: November 2