The Chicago Cultural Center, where the main exhibit of the Chicago Architecture Biennial will be held. Credit: Norman Kelley

Chicago Architecture Biennial

Aside from the main exhibition taking place at the Cultural Center, this year’s biennial boasts a number of smaller satellite shows, including new “anchor sites” in various neighborhoods; “Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute,” an installation devoted to the museum’s collection; and many related productions at smaller galleries. Read more about it in Anjulie Rao’s story about CAB.

Through 1/7/18, various dates and locations, main exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-3316, F

Hebru Brantley works in his studio.
Hebru Brantley works in his studio.Credit: Max Schreier

“Hebru Brantley: Forced Field”

Hi, it’s Hebru Brantley! You might remember him from such places as the “Chi-Boy” mural in the Wabash Arts Corridor or the music video for Chance the Rapper’s “Angels.” This wide-ranging survey of the Bronzeville multimedia artist is possibly the first large-scale institutional showcase of his work (not counting “Parade Day Rain,” at the Cultural Center, in 2014).

Through Sun 11/26: Tue-Thu 11 AM-5 PM, Fri 11 AM-7 PM, Sat-Sun 11 AM-5 PM, Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, 630-834-0202,, $9, $8 seniors, free students and kids 18 and under.

Jennifer Packer, <i>Say Her Name</i>, 2017
Jennifer Packer, Say Her Name, 2017Credit: Courtesy Renaissance Society

“Jennifer Packer: Tenderheaded”

The Renaissance Society continues its recent streak of solo shows by bold, talented, and up-and-coming artists. New York painter Packer will display recent work, contemporary portraiture and still lifes that convey the watery warmth of symbolist art.

Through Fri 11/5: Tue-Fri 10 AM-5 PM, Sat-Sun noon-5 PM, Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis, 773-702-8670, F

Glenn Kaino, <i>A Pen for Every Player</i>
Glenn Kaino, A Pen for Every PlayerCredit: Courtesy Kavi Gupta

“Glenn Kaino: Sign”

Conceptual artist Kaino’s last show in Chicago, “Leviathan,” featured pieces that found colorful, clever ways of addressing global politics, such as a pyramid of scales with candies on them, or statues made of 3-D scanned and printed rubble from protests in Athens and streets in Syria. Expect more daring and creative work at his return to Kavi Gupta.

Fri 9/15-Sat 10/28: Tue-Fri 10 AM-6 PM, Sat 11 AM-5 PM, Kavi Gupta, 835 W. Washington, 312-432-0708, F

Michael Rakowitz, <i>The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist</i>, ongoing
Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, ongoingCredit: Nick Ash

“Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West”

The Chicago-based Iraqi-American artist receives his first major museum show. The exhibit promises some elaborate, tantalizing installations, especially Enemy Kitchen, a sometimes-operating pop-up food truck that will serve Iraqi dishes made from recipes Rakowitz and his mother collected.

Sat 9/16-Sun 3/4/18: Tue 10 AM-9 PM, Wed-Thu 10 AM-5 PM, Fri 10 AM-9 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-5 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660,, $12, $7 students and seniors, free kids 12 and under and members of the military, free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.

Credit: Courtesy Block Museum

“William Blake and the Age of Aquarius”

William Blake was the artist of the century—and that’s not the 18th or 19th, when he was alive, but the mid-20th, more than 100 years after he died. This exhibit at the Block lays out how the Romantic figure influenced the seemingly un-Romantic midcentury American period.

Sat 9/23-Sun 3/11/18: Tue 10 AM-5 PM, Wed-Fri 10 AM-8 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-5 PM, Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-491-4000, F

Tarsila do Amaral, <i>Postcard</i>, 1929
Tarsila do Amaral, Postcard, 1929Credit: Courtesy Art Institute

“Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil”

This show marks the second major survey of a Brazilian artist at the Art Institute. The first, “Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium,” flaunted the freewheeling spirit of the midcentury multimedia innovator; “Inventing Modern Art in Brazil” scales back the setup but focuses on an equally imaginative figure, the female modernist painter Amaral.

Sun 10/8-Sun 1/7/18: Sun–Wed 10:30 AM–5 PM, Thu 10:30 AM–8 PM, Fri-Sat 10:30 AM–5 PM, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, 312-443-3600,, $25, $19 students, seniors ($5 discount for Chicago residents), free kids under 14; free for Illinois residents Thursdays 5-8 PM.

“Dapper Bruce Lafitte: Kingpin of the Antpin”

New Orleans artist Lafitte creates colorful, intricate drawings of life in the Louisiana city, such as boxing matches and marching bands. Though his artworks at first appear celebratory, their joyfulness belies the ways in which he addresses the city’s problems with poverty, racism, and local government.

Thu 10/12-Sun 12/10: Tue-Sat 11 AM-6 PM, Thu until 7:30 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outside Art, 756 N. Milwaukee, 312-243-9088,, $5, free kids 12 and under.

Bill Walker, <i>For Blacks Only 4</i>, 1979
Bill Walker, For Blacks Only 4, 1979Credit: Courtesy Hyde Park Art Center

“Bill Walker: Urban Griot”

As Deanna Isaacs recently wrote, Walker was one of the muralists who worked on the Wall of Respect, a short-lived public artwork whose reputation still stands. This show at the Hyde Park Art Center focuses on drawings and paintings Walker made between 1979 and 1984.

Sun 11/5-Sun 4/8/18: Mon-Thu 9 AM-8 PM, Fri-Sat 9 AM-5PM, Sun noon-5 PM, Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell, 773-324-5520, F

“Hervé Guibert”

Not much information about this event exists at the moment, but Guibert was a fascinating person—a French writer and photographer who worked at Le Monde, was a close friend of Michel Foucault, and cowrote the film The Wounded Man. Iceberg Projects has put on fantastic, informative shows about HIV and AIDS, and Guibert, who died at age 36, was instrumental in changing French attitudes toward the disease.

November, Iceberg Projects, 7714 N. Sheridan, F  v