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Arts Roundup: Spring Edition

By Laura M. Browning in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 25, 2011 6:40PM

The Virgin in Glory, Moulins, c. 1500. Stained glass. Former collegiate church of Notre-Dame, now Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Moulins.
Okay, so it's not even March yet, but the major spring-summer museum exhibits are already on view. Here are a few we think you won't want to miss:

Art Institute of Chicago
Kings, Queens, and Courtiers

Opening this weekend, Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France is making its only North American stop in Chicago. Expect plenty of illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, goldsmithwork, and even a Leonardo da Vinci.

Kings, Queens, and Courtiers opens Sunday, February 27, at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. Admission is $16 for adult residents of Chicago and is free on Thursdays from 5 - 8pm.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character
Without You I'm Nothing: Art and Its Audience

The MCA has a few great exhibits up right now, so make an afternoon of it. Jim Nutt’s beautiful and sometimes haunting paintings of imaginary women headline the fourth floor exhibition space with the outstanding exhibit Coming Into Character. And there’s still a couple months left of the excellent Without You I’m Nothing, an exhibit of works from the permanent collection that explore the relationship between art and audience.

Coming Into Character is on view through May 29, and Without You I’m Nothing is on view until May 1. The Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave, has a suggested admission of $12 and is free on Tuesdays.

Museum of Contemporary Photography
Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba

South African artist Guy Tillim photographs the architecture, landscape, and people of colonial and postcolonial Africa. Tillim focuses more on quieter scenes rather than dramatic photojournalism, allowing him to, in curator Karen Irvine’s words, “address the idea of faded idealism in an atmosphere that is both melancholy and dreamlike.”

Guy Tillim will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan Ave, through March 5. Admission is free.

Renaissance Society
Gerald Byrne: A thing is a hole in a thing it is not

This weekend is your last chance to see Gerald Byrne’s film installation, “A thing is a hole in a thing it is not.” As usual, the Renaissance Society brings a provocative and well-respected contemporary artist to a small space in Chicago (Byrne represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale and was also exhibited in the 2006 Tate Triennial), and we think this will be worth the trip down to Hyde Park.

Gerald Byrne’s film installation closes this Sunday, February 27, at the Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave, Room 418. Admission is free.

Smart Museum
The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion 1700 - 1900

With more than 40 paintings, sculptures, and prints, the Smart’s latest exhibit examines art’s cathartic powers and dark emotions. Looking at two centuries of art, the exhibit includes pieces from the Smart’s collection as well as loans from the Tate and the National Gallery.

The Tragic Muse is on view at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave, through June 5. Admission is free.