Chicago is a melting pot of food, culture, people, and arts. The city has an incredible and diverse lineup of art museums like The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Mexican Art, among others. There are always new and exciting exhibits to check out from interactive art, photography, and sculpture to tattoos, pop culture, textiles, and more. Below, we share ten of the best art exhibits in Chicago, happening right now and coming soon.

Looking for other things to do? Take a look at our big list of things to do in January in Chicago!

André Kertész: Postcards from Paris

The Art Institute of Chicago


111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Now – Jan. 17


Follow photographer André Kertész’s journey in Paris through this collection of postcard prints. Kertész arrived in Paris in 1925 and by the end of 1928, he became a regular contributor to magazines and exhibits alongside well-known artists like Man Ray. 

From amateur to professional photography to photojournalism, diarist, documentarian, and avant-garde styles, Kertész grew to be a major influence in modern art photography. The exhibit displays a variety of his most enduring works, including portraits of his artistic circle, Parisian views, and simple still lives.


Barbara Kruger

The Art Institute of Chicago


111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Now – Jan. 24, 2022

American conceptual artist and collagist Barbara Kruger has used her art form to address identity, desire, and consumerism with humor and empathy for more than 40 years. This exhibit shows a collection of Kruger’s career, including early and rare “paste ups” to digital presentations like animations and video installations. 

Kruger’s work resides in the Art Institute’s largest exhibition space, the 18,000 square-foot Regenstein Hall, but can also be seen in the Griffin Court atrium in the Modern Wing.

American Epidemic: Guns in the United States

Museum of Contemporary Photography

600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

WHEN: Now – Feb. 20

This photography exhibit showcases the work of ten artists exploring the role of guns in today’s society with a focus on structural violence, poverty, systemic racism, and an increasingly militarized police force. 

Going through the exhibit, you’ll find that the work gives commentary on a variety of issues at hand, like the politicization of trauma and public mourning. The exhibit will spark discussion on how gender, race, capitalism, and militarism affect the topic of gun control in the U.S.

Ray Johnson c/o

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Now – Mar. 21

1950s Pop Art figure and iconic collagist Ray Johnson was also ironically deemed “New York’s most famous unknown artist.” In addition to his meticulous collages, he was remembered for his development of mail art, an artform that involved sending art through the postal service.

The exhibit’s featured works are almost all from the Art Institute’s recently acquired William S. Wilson Collection of Ray Johnson, which houses the original archives of the New York Correspondence School, the international mail art network.

Andrea Bowers

Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

WHEN: Now – Mar. 27

This exhibit features everything from video to colored pencil to installation art. Andrea Bowers focuses on subject matters that deal with issues like immigration rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, climate justice, and more. 

Her work depicts and documents activism, advocacy, and contemporary history. She uses art as commentary on political and social climates, such as “My Name Means Future,” a video that features a young Indigenous rights activist whose ancestral lands were threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Morris and Company: The Business of Beauty

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Now – Jun. 13

Those who love floral and fauna will appreciate the beauty of the Morris and Company exhibit. The home furnishings company had a philosophy of elevating handmade objects by bringing art to our everyday lives. 

Handmade wallpapers, textiles, and furniture were what made Morris & Co. a highly regarded company. A lot of the work had influences from European and Middle Eastern fabric designs and was often titled after flowers and plants. The style was prominent in the late 19th century British Arts and Crafts movement.

Nancy Rubins: Our Friend Fluid Metal

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Now – Fall 2022

Nancy Rubins has collected everyday objects like canoes, airplane parts, and playground equipment, throughout her career. She creates monumental sculptures secured together with thin steel trusses and tension cables.

Her series Our Friend Fluid Metal focuses on children’s equipment from amusement parks, playgrounds, and more. Two sculptures from the series are on display at the Art Institute’s Bluhm Family Terrace.

Yayoi Kusama: “Let’s Survive Forever”

WNDR Museum

1130 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60607

WHEN: Ongoing

Immersive art exhibits can be trippy and Yayoi Kusama’s “Let’s Survive Forever” is one of the trippiest, giving visitors a sense of infinity through suspended stainless steel balls. The Infinity Mirrored Room plays with the spheres’ reflections and surrounding mirrors for that trippy feeling of endlessness. Visitors get one minute inside the room, where photography is encouraged. It’s the ultimate mirror selfie experience!

Department of Painting and Sculpture of Europe

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

WHEN: Ongoing

This vast collection is one of the finest in the world with more than 4,000 works from the 12th through the late 19th century Europe. You’ll recognize many renowned paintings in the exhibit, including Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies,” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait” and “The Bedroom.”

I’ve Got My Art to Keep Me Warm

Jean Albano Gallery

215 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654

WHEN: Ongoing

Too cold outside? Come in for a warm gathering surrounded by art at Jean Albano Gallery. “I’ve Got My Art to Keep Me Warm” is a group art exhibition featuring many current Jean Albano artists. You’ll find work that inspires conversation or simply makes you smile from the bottom of your heart.

Featured Image Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago

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