There are 4 exhibits opening over the next 3 days, in different parts of town, on vastly different themes, made out of significantly different materials and they are all damned good.
Tonight, Friday, there's an opening at Donald Young Gallery for the new Rodney Graham exhibition. This is art that by its scale and quality execution conveys significance, yet refuses to take itself seriously. New paintings, a larger than life photograph and a kinetic, op-art replica of a Black Sabbath concert backdrop from the early '70's are on view. Work of this freshness and caliber is not often seen in Chicago. See this show.
Also, tonight is the opening for a fabulous piece by Patrick Lichty at Antena and it isn't even really there. This is one of the best examples of the use of a medium I have seen. Lichty's work recently has been about cultural artifacts that have disappeared. For me it was Riverview. For him it's the Berwyn Car Spire that was recently dismantled. So he has recreated it--virtually--in Second Life. I downloaded it to see the piece. What a hoot. And Lichty's not going to be at the opening either, but he will be available by computer. It all makes sense even if there's no there there.
Preston Jackson's tight new sculptures at Maison Rouge explore vivid historic memories with passion and talent. This gallery is more like a salon. A find. And Preston is one of Chicago's truly great and under appreciated artists. This is another opportunity to see Preston shine.
On Sunday, Peggy Casey Friedman's exhibit of photographs opens at Devening Projects. In the neglected parks and overlooked lots she photographs the beauty she sees there. These are strong, optimistic pieces. I like them.
The diversity and range of the work balances the diversity and range of the locations hosting the art. All over the City.
Derek Guthrie was one of two founders of Chicago's New Art Examiner in 1973 and he is giving a talk Sunday at 2 PM at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. It's called Defilement; A Story of the Art World. This should be memorable.