Best Art Exhibits at Chicago Museums in 2022

Chicago is a city steeped in history, art and culture — and you’ll find plenty of it all at our renowned cultural institutions. And luckily for us, they’ll be unveiling a jaw-dropping list of exhibits throughout the year. Here is our list of some of the art exhibitions in Chicago museums which are worth the detour in 2022.

The art of brick

Museum of Science and Industry
February 10 – September 5, 2022
A must have for kids and everyone’s inner child! This critically acclaimed collection of creative pieces is the world’s largest exhibition of LEGO art. Presented by contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, the intriguing works in the exhibition are all constructed using only LEGO bricks.
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Immersive Frida Kahlo

ArtSpace lighthouse at the Germania Club
February 24 — May 28, 2022
Imagine yourself inside the stunning works of famed 20th-century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Best known for her compelling self-portraits and radiant pieces inspired by life in her native land, this immersive art installation showcases some of the artist’s best-known works brought to life by vibrant projections.
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Indigenous Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories

An interpretation of Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories
The Field Museum’s newly renovated Native North America Hall exhibit titled Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories is scheduled to open May 20, 2022.

Field Museum
Opens May 20, 2022
Chicago’s renowned Field Museum has partnered with Native groups to launch a groundbreaking new renovation of the museum’s Native North America Hall. The co-curated exhibit will feature stories told by Native Americans’ own voices, supported by contemporary art, poetry, photography and historical artifacts.
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Nick Cave: For something else

Hasselblad H3D by Nick Cave at MCA
Hasselblad H3D by Nick Cave

Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art
May 14 – October 2, 2022
Nick Cave, the internationally acclaimed Chicago artist known for his dynamic, multidisciplinary approach, is receiving his first career-spanning retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This immersive collection will contain new and previously unseen works, as well as site-specific installations like the mesmerizing rotating forest.
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Auvers, Panoramic, 1873-75, Paul Cézanne
Auvers, Panoramic, 1873-75, Paul Cézanne

Chicago Art Institute
May 15 – September 5, 2022
The new exhibition, organized with London’s Tate Modern, celebrates the vast works of post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. The exhibition will feature 90 oil paintings, 40 works on paper and sketchbooks by the artist, who is considered a source of influence for greats like Monet and Picasso. The art institute promises that the show will “reframe Cézanne, a giant of art history, for our time”.
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Art and Race Matter: The Career of Robert Colescott

Art and Race Matter: The Career of Robert Colescott
Art and Race Matter: The Career of Robert Colescott

Chicago Cultural Center
Until May 22, 2022
The Chicago Cultural Center will host the first-ever comprehensive retrospective of 20th-century American painter Robert Colescott. Colescott’s large-scale works took a critical look at societal issues such as race, gender, and social inequality and delivered his message with satire and wit.
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Hyde Park Art Center DREAM exhibition
Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center
Until March 20, 2022
This exhibit features the works of 20 local artists who have completed the Art Centre’s professional development program, now in its 10th year. This program connects participants with networks of supportive peers, visiting artists, gallery owners, critics and professionals, who help nudge these up-and-coming artists to evolve their practice and elevate their work to the next level.
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Blue wooden bench in a gallery with text painted on it.  The back of the bed bench, "This exhibit made me stand for too long." The seat reads, "Sit down if you agree."
Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not?, 2018, MDO, painting. Image courtesy of the artist.

Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Now until March 12, 2022

In this new exhibition, star artists like Emilie Gossiaux and Alison O’Daniel use their work to critique society’s idea of ​​disability. This collection includes thirteen different artists, with varying levels of ability and experience. The compiled bodies of work cover everything from personal relationships to intersectional thinking and non-normative identities.
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Bob Thompson: This house is mine

Bob Thompson in his Rivington Street, NY studio, c.  1964. © Charles Rotmil
Bob Thompson in his Rivington Street, NY studio, c.
1964. © Charles Rotmil

Smart Art Museum
February 15 – May 15, 2022

Just 29 at the time of his death, visionary 1950s black painter Bob Thomas had a brief but incredible career. This presentation of his work
borrows its name from one of his lesser-known paintings and is intended as a tribute to Thompson’s unique take on European painting styles and its impact on the modern art world.
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Beautiful diaspora / You are not the least part

Champs-Elysées, Paris from the Afropean series, 2010
Johnny Pitts
Champs-Elysées, Paris from the Afropean series, 2010
Courtesy of the artist

Museum of Contemporary Photography
March 3 — June 26, 2022
Beautiful diaspora / You are not the least part advocates solidarity with global artists of color and black artists in the diaspora. Two exhibitions intertwine into one, with fifteen artists brought together in a shared space. The objective of this exhibition is to break with the more frequent tradition of separating artists and “minority” communities in exhibition spaces.
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Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture and Reparations | Chicago to Guantanamo

DePaul Museum of Art
From March 10 to August 7, 2022
Redo the exceptional marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the United States’ extralegal prison at Guantánamo Bay. This exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists and activists, who use their work to examine the local and international ramifications of state violence by highlighting the connections between police and incarceration in Chicago and the ramifications of the “global war on terrorism”.
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Chicago’s most notable exhibits to check out in 2022:

William E. Bennett