What Do Yoko Ono, Hercules, and Big Pharma Have in Common? They’re All Part of Chicago’s Latest Art Events!

Beverly Fishman, “Untitled (Light On),” 2009. Courtesy of Kavi Gupta

Face your relationship with Big Pharma, talk about Hercules, and get inspired by Yoko Ono with these upcoming art events in Chicago.

Tom Torluemke, Born in the USA, 2018. Courtesy of One After 909

“Beverly Fishman: Future Perfect” at Kavi Gupta
Colorful and gleaming, Fishman’s sculptures are more insidious than they initially seem—in this solo show, the artist references pharmaceutical pills and their enticing branding, inviting us to face our relationship with Big Pharma. The exhibition couldn’t be more timely, considering current debates in the art world over cultural institutions’ ties to the Sackler family, which made its fortune in opioids.
Details: April 14

“Born in the USA” at One After 909
There’s a lot about today’s America that’s pretty grotesque, and Chicago artist Tom Torluemke’s large-scale paintings make this palpable. His canvases are filled with strange, unpleasant characters and moments of unease—fables that have traces of sour reality.
Details: April 26

Artist Talk at Arts Club of Chicago
Hang out in a garden during this conversation with Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, whose solo show revisiting the classical plaster cast gallery recently opened. The artist will speak about his strange, many-faced representation of Hercules, which is matched with an homage to Internet cat videos. You’ve never seen marble work like this before.
Details: May 3

Detail of Garden Gipsoteca: Hercules / Photo courtesy of the artist

Cockaigne at Comfort Station Logan Square
In 1567, Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted a comical scene capturing “the Land of Cockaigne,” in which a trio of gluttonous men doze off, clearly having enjoyed a rich meal. More than 450 years later, artists Malte Stiehl and Nick Van Zanten will reinterpret this legendary place in three dimensions, using material from sequins to mirrors to cotton candy. As the press release curiously promises, this will be “an appropriately fanciful sensory overload.”
Details: May 4

“Diver Down” at Bert Green Fine Art
You’ll lose track while counting the number of eyes in Emmeric Konrad’s paintings, which are filled with distorted humans and beasts in inscrutable situations. Try (or don’t!) to decode these tangled tableaux in his new solo show at this gallery in the Loop.
Details: May 4

Yoko Ono at the Poetry Foundation
Come and read Ono’s celebrated book of life lessons in its entirety: A facsimile of the 1964 Grapefruit will be on view, filled with prompts like “Imagine the clouds dripping” and “Make one tuna fish sandwich and eat.” When you’re done, visit the courtyard, write down a wish, and tie it to one of her Wish Trees.
Details: May 10

“Parallel Perspectives” at Elmhurst Art Museum
Immerse yourself in color and light in this installation by Luftwerk, which engages with Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House. The Chicago artist-pair will introduce neon works, pulsing light boxes, and bright glass panes to the mid-century home as part of centennial celebrations of the Bauhaus school.
Details: May 11

Emmeric Konrad, One Man’s Frown Is Another Man’s Smile, 2017. Courtesy of Bert Green Fine Art

The Other Art Fair Chicago at Mana Contemporary
If you’re put off by art fairs because of the price tags, this one’s for you. Presented by online gallery Saatchi Art, this alternative fair targets collectors with lower price points, with artwork for sale from just $150. The Chicago iteration—the second one so far—will feature 120 artists chosen by a committee, so you won’t have to worry about a lack of highbrow options.
Details: May 16–19

“What’s Behind This Door?” at Oliva Gallery
In this solo show, local painter Tamara Wasserman presents a new series of highly gestural, dense works that incorporate painting and collage. Like much of her practice, which finds inspiration from “the disturbance of the mundane,” these will likely explore myriad psychological states.
Details: May 17