Art

Sex, Toothbrushes, and Lanterns All Star in This Month’s Most Unique Art Events and Openings

Sacha Euseube in rehearsal for "Sex” by Anne Imhof. / Photo by Nadine Fraczkowski/Courtesy of Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/ Cologne/New York

Afrofuturism, love letters, sex, and toothbrushes (yep) all take the spotlight this month with this next crop of exciting art events in Chicago.

Art & Afrofuturism at DePaul Art Museum
Robert Pruitt is a master of black portraiture whose realist works are filled with nods to Afrofuturism and African art history. Hear him speak about his work during this talk, and see some of his works on display, too.
Details: May 1

“Take Care” at Ground Level Platform
This group show is a love letter to love letters. Local artists present their works in textile, performance, and more to examine the power of the written word and the intimate experiences of reading, writing, and sharing.
Details: May 10

Photo courtesy of Arts in the Dark/Facebook

Arts in the Dark Procession at Chicago River Walk
Join this nighttime festivity that honors the city’s theater communities, where lanterns by artist Heather Killian will be paraded, each an homage to a different production. Make your own lantern and walk with the crowd, or sit back and take in the luminous scene.
Details: May 13

“Solid Echoes” at Aspect/Ratio
A show that plays with multiples, mirroring, and back-and-forths: Nick Albertson and Jean Alexander Frater present photographs and paintings that experiment with the doubling of material and illusions caused by shadows.
Details: May 17

“Without Within” at Experimental Sound Studio
Ceramic assemblages by Mie Kongo, whose work is as delicate as it is strange, are paired with a new sound installation by Norman W. Long, whose practice often involves field recording. If you miss this reception, check out the sound walk on June 30 or a second performance on July 21.
Details: May 17

Untitled (2018). Courtesy of Mie Kong

Sex at Art Institute of Chicago
The title alone will grab your attention, and this performance by German choreographer Anne Imhof at the Art Institute—the only U.S. host—is certainly not to be missed. Known for her provocative pieces that have introduced elements like live falcons, Dobermans, shaving cream, and drones into white cubes, Imhof is one to watch.
Details: May 30

Adam Nadel at Fermilab Art Gallery
Did you know that Fermilab, the national lab for particle physics and accelerator research, has its own artist residency program? Come check out the work of its newest residence, photographer Nadel, who has spent his time here documenting the lab’s machines and scientific work.
Details: May 31

“100 Toothbrushes” at Soccer Club Club
Seth Bogart presents 100 ceramic iterations of an object we all use: the humble toothbrush. But in his hands, the quotidian accessory becomes comical, with handles that take on playful, even absurd forms.
Details: May 31

“Saturnine” at Chicago Manual Style
It’s your last chance to check out this show on melancholy and Saturn, which features three artists in this garage-turned-gallery. There’s a bed dressed with pink sheets and a video piece following the fate of a bouquet of tulips, while a ceiling work serves as an aerial form of rose-colored glasses.
Details: May 31