The Chicago Architecture Biennial, Filter Photo Festival, and a “Nasty Women” Show Headline This Month’s Art Happenings in Chicago

“Vertical City” / Photo courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Biennial

A new immersive art experience, an artist talk about photographing aging animals, the 2019 Chicago Architectural Biennial, and a macabre-inspired dance performance all set the stage for some of Chicago’s can’t-miss art events this month.

Utagawa Sadahide, An American Mercantile Building in Yokohama (Yokohama ijin shokan no zu), 1861. Public domain image.

“Knows No Bounds” at Heaven Gallery
Coming in response to a wave of immersive, Instagrammable art experiences (the Museum of Ice Cream, the Wndr Museum, the Museum of Selfies, etc.), this exhibition seeks to recalibrate the act of experiencing art. Among the works on view intended to wholly capture your senses: an unplayable baby grand piano, a mobile of sculpted cranes, and a footwork performance.
Details: September 13

“The Idea of America in 19th-Century Japanese Prints” at the Art Institute of Chicago
Here’s your last chance to observe this curious—and at times comedic—series of prints that show scenes from Yokohama in the mid-19th century: depictions of Americans in Japan, rendered in a traditional woodblock style. These reflect the cultural exchanges that unfolded in the international port, but take them with a grain of salt, as Japanese artists took great creative freedom in their interpretations.
Details: Through September 13

Isa Leshko Artist Talk at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
Photographer Leshko has scouted out senior animals for nearly a decade, visiting farm animal sanctuaries across America to make portraits of aging chickens, sheep, pigs, and more. Hear her speak about her relationships with creatures that typically die in the factory industry at this book signing.
Details: September 19

Olivier Taparga’s I Guess You Solved the Question at the Arts Club of Chicago
This dance performance makes visible and interprets a tragic and violent event in architectural history: the mass murders at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin estate by a servant, followed by its destruction by arson. An international team of dancers will revisit the series of events through not only movement but also words and images.
Details: September 19

2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial at Chicago Cultural Center
The third edition of this unique biennial takes as its title and theme “…And Other Such Stories.” Read that as an invitation for participants to reflect on overlooked architectural histories, from forgotten spaces to sites of memory or advocacy.
Details: September 19

Courtesy of Filter Photo

2019 Filter Photo Festival
Photographers won’t want to miss this four-day festival, which is filled with artist talks, exhibitions, and workshops on such subjects as historic techniques and career development. You can even sign up to have your portfolio reviewed by an esteemed cohort of curators, collectors, and critics.
Details: September 19

EXPO Chicago at Navy Pier Festival Hall
The city’s biggest contemporary art fair is back for its eighth year. Check out a global group of art presented by more than 135 galleries, which have arrived from cities like São Paulo to Cape Town. It’s typically pretty exhausting to navigate, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
Details: September 20–22

Mierle Laderman Ukeles Artist Talk at the Art Institute of Chicago
For decades, Ukeles has worked as the artist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Sanitation, where she has produced performances that highlight the near-invisible labor of those who clean up the metropolis. She’s a dynamic and inspirational speaker, and this talk is one not to miss, especially for those unfamiliar with her practice.
Details: September 24

“Nasty Women Evanston” at 1100 Florence
If you feel like you’ve slipped into political complacency over the summer, here’s an event to get you fired up for fall. This all-women art show will have plenty of anger-fueled art for sale, with 100 percent of proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. Everything’s sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early.
Details: September 28

Iván Navarro, Impenetrable Room, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin Gallery