Modern Art Must-sees | PenCities Chicago

Modern Art Must-sees
January 22, 2017

When the going gets tough weather wise (hey, it’s an Illinois winter), the tough get going – straight into the nearest gallery. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, aka MCA, offers a heated retreat and champions provocative modern art. Catch these three cutting-edge new exhibitions for 2017…

Taking its title from the feminist hardcore punk movement, Riot Grrrls (until 18 Jun, 2017) confronts gender inequality in the art world with a celebration of 10 pioneering female abstract painters. Established names include Mary Heilmann, Charline von Heyl and Judy Ledgerwood, with emerging talents also in the spotlight. Look out for Tomma Abts’ intriguing geometric ‘Dele’ canvas and Joyce Pensato’s spooky ‘Silver Batman II’.

Just opened, Chicago Works: Chris Bradley (until 2 Jul, 2017) showcases the locally based, American conceptual sculptor, whose Warhol-esque Pop works riff on everyday objects but give them a fresh, abstract spin. Bradley uses unexpected materials such as cast glass to create bags of ice, or painted steel and bronze to form pizza boxes or junk food. From cans to potato crisps and bananas, nothing is off limits.

This summer’s big name in the frame is playful Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, and his wackily monikered exhibition Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg (until 24 Sep, 2017). Murakami’s vibrant cartoonish style and street-arty anime characters have adorned Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed handbags, and he’s even collaborated with Kanye West. This major retrospective features around 50, career-spanning paintings, blending East and West, ancient and modern, high and lowbrow.

MCA / 220 E Chicago Ave / +1 312 280 2660 / 10am-5pm Wed-Sun, until 8pm Tue /