Exhibitions About Fonts, Tin-Can Phones, and Medicine Headline February’s Coolest Art Events

Tracy L. Templeton, “Stumbling Through Memories,” 2018. / © Tracy L. Templeton

This month in Chicago’s art scene, look forward to concrete sculptures, a talk about eco-friendly architecture, a font festival, and a solo show dedicated to those tin-can phones we grew up “calling” friends on as kids. All this and more!

“Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego on Miguel Fisac” at the Graham Foundation
The late Spanish architect Fisac was a master of concrete, creating elegantly strange buildings that could resemble pillows. See materials from his archive alongside sculptures and drawings by contemporary artist Prego, whose own practice similarly experiments with mass and voids.
Details: February 11

Detail of the facade of the Our Lady Flower of Carmelite Parish, Madrid, designed by Miguel Fisac, 1983. Photo courtesy of Carlos Copertone.

“To Hold Space” at Ground Level Platform
If you’ve ever pretended to call a friend with tin cans and some string, perhaps you’ll revel in the nostalgia at this solo show by Bonny Nahmias, who presents a multican telephone installation alongside a book to guide conversations. The setup aims to create a space for intimate and empathic conversations.
Details: February 14

“Dis-Placed: Gentle Disquiet” at Evanston Art Center
In this solo show, artist Tracy L. Templeton presents prints and textiles that evoke otherworldly landscapes, each ambiguous site a possible refuge or haven. But the series has real-life roots, altogether nodding to the global refuge crisis.
Details: February 22

Chicago’s Best Green Buildings at Chicago Architecture Center
It might not surprise you to know that Chicago—renowned for its architectural innovations—is a leader in eco-friendly building design. This ticketed talk invites local architects to discuss their newest sustainable projects, from a University of Chicago school to a library.
Details: February 24

Voices: Teresa Montoya at Gallery 400
The social scientist presents a lecture on her series of photographs taken a year after the 2015 Gold King Mine wastewater spill, which polluted rivers in three states. More than an exploration of environmental damage, the images address how such toxic exposure disproportionately impacts indigenous communities.
Details: February 25

“Unique Perspectives: Art in Science and Medicine” at International Museum of Surgical Science
This annual exhibition of art by master’s students enrolled in the University of Illinois’s Biomedical Visualization Program celebrates advancements in science and medicine in creative, beguiling ways. On view will be a range of digital media works, from animation to interactive apps.
Details: February 27

Typeforce 11 at Co-Prosperity Sphere
Typography nerds, unite! Chicago’s annual exhibition of font design is back. Whether you get obsessed adjusting your own spaces and serifs or just appreciate an especially funky font, this curated showcase of new work by local artists and designers will be sure to inspire you.
Details: February 28

“My Life in Print” at the Art Institute of Chicago
Noda Tetsuya, a Japanese printmaker who strove to record memories both mundane and extraordinary with woodblock and stencils, is the center of this intimate exhibition. At its heart is his series “Diary,” which records particular days and features well over 500 images made across more than five decades.
Details: February 29

Eleano Spiess-Ferris, A Small Sound, 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Daphne’s Sister” at Evanston Art Center
Eleanor Spiess-Ferris is known for complex narratives rife with surrealist imagery and feminist symbolism. In this solo show, paintings and drawings from her more-than-40-year career will be paired with studies and sketches—a giddy dive into a singular, limitless vision.
Details: February 29

“The Weight” at Kavi Gupta
Chicago artist Tony Tasset doesn’t shy away from the strange: He’s famous for a 30-foot eyeball currently anchored in Dallas. In this solo exhibition, he presents new sculptures that are, of course, smaller but no less unusual. Look forward to an enchanting coterie of characters, like an angry sun, a snake, and an eagle head.
Details: February 28