Queen Bey dropped Renaissance and households all over Chicago’s South Side and beyond are celebrating #4onthefloor and #housemusicallnightlong, and venues south of the city’s Loop bring that energy to the early fall season. Our first Chicago art guide focuses on the South Side, with exhibiting artists contend with the 75th anniversary of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent, being a young Kuwaiti feminist painter, and reflect on Black American memory and healing, and personal familial narratives.

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Pritika Chowdhry, “Partition Anti Memorial Project, Memory Leaks: Dips and Traces” (2013), etched copper pots, dimensions variable (courtesy South Asia Institute)

Pritika Chowdhry: Unbearable Memories, Unspeakable Histories, Partition Anti-Memorial Project

Since 2007, feminist and post-colonialist artist Pritika Chowdhry has developed the Partition Anti-Memorial Project. August 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation-states. Chowdry has continued to build on this series producing installation pieces that create alternate ways to remember and memorialize traumatic geopolitical events, from the dual lenses of South Asian diasporic postmemory.


South Asia Institute (saichicago.org)
1925 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Through December 10

Myron Laban, “Fantasía” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches (courtesy The Silverroom)

Myron Laban: Time to Rise

Known for his murals, painter Myron Laban scales down for a solo exhibition of his figurative paintings at The Silver Room. Laban has been an outspoken advocate for those with mental health struggles and seeks to promote healing through creative pursuits. Infused with earthy tones and warming figures, Time to Rise expresses Laban’s focus on perseverance and healing.

The Silver Room (thesilverroom.com)
1506 East 53rd Street, Chicago
Through September 9

Breanna Robinson, “Play Space #2” (2022), risograph, 11 1/2 x 17 inches (image courtesy of artist)

Asking for the Moon

Tiger Strikes Asteroid presents an exhibition of print-based works by Breanna Robinson. In this body of work, Robinson utilizes her memories, dreams, and research to explore the distinct but inherently connected processes of memory consolidation and dream construction. Robinson often works with a variety of materials to produce handmade and digital works that reflect themes of nostalgia, femininity, media, and technology in the context of Black American culture.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid (tigerstrikesasteroid.com)
Mana Contemporary, 2233 South Throop Street, #419, Chicago
Through October 1

Antonia Larkin, “marked (2019), mixed media sculpture, 61 x 25 x 15 inches (courtesy the artist)

Jova Lynne and Antonia Larkin: Our Mothers’ Gardens

Antonia Larkin and Jova Lynne, 2019 ACRE residents, trace the memory of Black life and lineage through unconventional approaches to the archive and cultural memory. Drawing upon familial narratives, personal lore, vinyl records and ecology, these artists reimagine and rethink the modes through which we document and memorialize histories of grief, familial upheaval, and collective loss.

Blanc Gallery (blancchicago.com), in partnership with Artist’s Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE)
4445 South King Drive, Chicago
Through September 23

Victoria Martinez, “Legs, braid, stripes” (2022), acrylic paint on fabric, 19 x 36 inches (image courtesy the artist)

Victoria Martinez: Daughter of Wands

In a 2021 interview with The Latinx Project at New York University, Eva Mayhabal Davis writes, “Victoria Martinez’s work explores landscapes, systems of power, and archiving particular sites as a form of honoring histories. In her abstractions, there are portals of reimagining spaces and memories, as well as embracing alternative methods of mapmaking. This is most notable in the material layers and textured textiles that are painted and transformed into an intuitive language.” For her solo show, Chicago native Martinez returns with a new body of work at Produce Model Gallery.

Produce Model Gallery (www.produce-model.com)
1918 South Canalport Avenue, Chicago
Through October 8

Yuge Zhou, “Moon Drawings; Winter” (2022) (courtesy the artist)

Yuge Zhou: Moon Drawings

This past spring, the Chinese American Museum of Chicago launched the Spotlight Series, a new initiative to showcase work by contemporary artists of Chinese descent. The fourth in the series features work by Yuge Zhou. Her video series Moon Drawings was created during the global pandemic travel ban. Zhou was inspired by a Han Dynasty legend about missing loved ones in a faraway land. Her recent work centers around the great physical and emotional distance between China and America, two lands she calls home.

Programming during the exhibition will include a poetry session in collaboration with the Chicago Poetry Center and a sound performance by local sound artists Kikù Hibino and Chien-An Yuan.

Chinese American Museum of Chicago (ccamuseum.org)
238 West 23rd Street, Chicago
Through October 16

Latifa Alaljan, “I was dreaming of you” (2022), graphite, charcoal, acrylic, and oil paint on linen, 22 x 28 x 1 1/2 inches (courtesy FLXST Contemporary)

S.H. Kim: Hands Remember and Latifa Alajlan: Under my skin

Opening the early fall season at FLXST Contemporary highlights painters Latifa Alaljan and S.H. Kim. As a young Kuwaiti woman and feminist, Latifa Alajlal combines Islamic patterning and materials symbolic of her country to create dense abstract paintings.  She states that her mark-making is derived from “using my hands and body, the sensual strokes and textures of my paintings aim to invoke the intimacy of nature and take ownership of one’s own flesh.” Alajlan aims to facilitate a conversation between the conservative and the liberal Kuwaitis with a focus on female empowerment. 

Kim states that he references Japanese and American animations from the 1970s to the 2000s to create abstract paintings. Although using pop culture influences, Kim’s work also seems to draw from Modernist landscape paintings such as the Fauvist use of color and form along with elements of the simplified later Modernism of Milton Avery. 

FLXST Contemporary (flxst.co)
2251 South Michigan Ave, Suite 220, Chicago
September 10–October 23, 2022

Scott Vincent Campbell, “What are y’all lookin’ at” (2022), mixed media installation, dimensions variable (courtesy Baby Blue Gallery)

Miles MacClure and Scott Vincent Campbell

Miles MacClure and Scott Vincent Campbell are intrigued by the significance that humans ascribe to objects; their respective practices merge sculptural and photographic elements to different ends. Campbell examines the parts of ourselves we must obscure and MacClure questions the reality and significance of individual identity. In tandem, their assemblages use found and fabricated objects to interrogate the construction of selfhood. Through these transformations of objects and images, Campbell and MacClure aim to provide the viewer with a new way of looking at the familiar, and a new way of looking at oneself.

Baby Blue (babybluegallery.org)
Mana Contemporary, 2233 South Throop Street, Chicago
September 15–October 15

Liz Vitlin, “DSC02040.JPG [September 30, 2005]” (2022), digital print, 4 x 6 inches (courtesy the artist)

Liz’s Childhood Computer

Liz Vitlin’s exhibition at Prairie presents a selection of works from her ongoing project Liz’s Childhood Computer. Extracted from the dusty hard drive of a computer custom-built for her by her father, these are ambiguously uncanny works. Vitlin transplants her salvaged videos, photographs, and Microsoft Word compositions from the fuzzy world of early digital media to the gallery space.  

Prairie (prairie.website)
2055 West Cermak, Chicago
September 24–November 5

Ian Miyamura, Untitled (2022), oil on muslin, 20 x 36 inches (courtesy the artist)

Ian Miyamura

Over the past few years, Ian Miyamura has steadily produced a number of paintings, slowly sorting them into groups of disparate pictorial subjects and genres; whimsically distorted seagulls, historically evocative still lifes and wry works of geometric abstraction. Miyamura displays a subtle technique and sensitivity to his materials in these modestly sized paintings. When viewed as an ensemble, the formal language he employs questions the way in which we engage with the act of creation and viewing.

4th Ward Project Space (4wps.org)
5338 South Kimbark Avenue Chicago
October 30–November 22, 2022

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Susannah Papish

Susannah Papish is a Chicago-based artist, curator, and writer. Papish is the Director of boundary, a visual arts project space. Papish’s artist book entitled Invisible Labors written with collaborator Melissa...

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