EXPO CHICAGO REPORTS STRONG SALES AND HIGH ATTENDANCE
DURING ITS MOST GLOBAL EDITION TO DATE
Seventh Edition Welcomed 38,000 Visitors September 27 – 30, 2018,
Solidifying Chicago as a Major International Art Destination
CHICAGO—EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, concluded its seventh edition on Sunday, September 30, with record attendance of 38,000 visitors, exceptional presentations from exhibiting galleries and strong sales, in what was its most global edition to date. On opening day alone, the exposition welcomed 8,000 VIP guests while raising money to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago during Vernissage. Collectors, curators, artists and art enthusiasts enjoyed an exclusive first look at 135 leading galleries from 27 countries and 63 cities throughout Navy Pier’s iconic Festival Hall.
“We are extremely grateful for the many successes of our participating exhibitors, as well as the overwhelmingly positive response to our critically acclaimed programming and our commitment to making Chicago in September the place to be for national and international curators,” said EXPO CHICAGO President | Director Tony Karman. “I am equally proud that our seventh edition alignment with The Terra Foundation for American Art’s year-long initiative Art Design Chicago, contributing to an extraordinary week of international art and design events and exhibitions and highlighted by Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Creative Chicago marathon,” he added. “There is no city in the world that collaborates like Chicago and that attitude coupled with the incredible support and involvement of our cultural institutions, collectors, galleries and artists ensures that we will continue to welcome the world together in support of our exhibitors and the work being done in contemporary and modern art today.”
Featuring one of the most rigorous and challenging platforms for contemporary art and culture, under the leadership of EXPO CHICAGO Director of Programming Stephanie Cristello, dynamic programming engaged visitors throughout Chicago, including the /Dialogues Symposium, Present Histories: Art & Design in Chicago, created in partnership with The Terra Foundation for American Art’s year-long initiative Art Design Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; curator Pablo León de la Barra’s immersive IN/SITU installation series, transforming Navy Pier’s Festival Hall; curator Anna Gritz’s engaging EXPO VIDEO presentation; Daata Editions’ curation of sound pieces for EXPO Sound; EXPO CHICAGO and the City of Chicago’s citywide outdoor installations IN/SITU Outside and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project presented in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE); the Art Critics Forum discussion of “Criticism and the Image;” the engagement of over 30 curators in the Curatorial Forum in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI); and the expansion and implementation of the Curatorial Exchange program.
EXPO CHICAGO welcomed back many returning galleries for 2018 as well as several new additions, whose curated and ambitious presentations drew critical praise. Exhibitors expressed that they received strong support from the greater Midwest collector base in addition to a high volume of nationally and internationally notable collectors, museum curators and institutions.
In an effort to draw leaders from top institutions to the exposition, EXPO CHICAGO once again hosted the Curatorial Forum, welcoming more than 30 mid-career and established curators for the third year. Participating institutions included Beta-Local, California African American Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, CCA Wattis, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Frost Museum of Art, Handwerker Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Museum of the African Diaspora, New Orleans Museum of Art, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, On the Boards, Pace Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum, Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Row House, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Spelman College Museum, Stamps Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, Ulrich Museum of Art, University of Illinois in Chicago School of Art & Art History and Whitney Museum of American Art.
The Forum also included a private Symposium in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), in addition to a series of break-out sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context, led by internationally recognized leaders in the field. The Symposium featured key note speaker Jochen Volz, the General Director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo.
“For the third year running, Independent Curators International (ICI) and EXPO CHICAGO partnered on the Curatorial Forum, bringing more than 30 curators from across the United States and beyond to the fair with three days of curatorial programs. We were thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Graham Foundation, and this year with the Logan Center. The key note lecture by Jochen Volz, Director of Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo, set the tone for the Forum, bringing forth various models of commissioning and working with artists to bring joy, articulate arguments, build an audience and produce new realities. This year’s Forum was an inspiring experience that, we hope, will lead to new collaborations and continued exchange among the participating curators.”
— Renaud Proch | Executive Director, Independent Curators International
This year EXPO CHICAGO built upon a pilot program initiated in 2013 by EXPO CHICAGO, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago and the Institut Français, and officially launched the Curatorial Exchange program, an unprecedented international initiative developed in partnership with foreign consulates and cultural agencies. The Curatorial Exchange offered select mid-career and established curators based around the world the opportunity to engage closely with their peers, convening as part of a four-day program that included access to exhibitions, top private collections, artist studios, museums and institutions during EXPO CHICAGO.
In 2018, the Curatorial Exchange brought curators from China (supported by the China Arts and Entertainment Group), Denmark (supported by the Danish Ministry for Culture and Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs), France (supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago), Italy (supported by the Italian Cultural Institute) and The Netherlands (supported by the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York). Participating curators included Senior Research Fellow of the National Museum of China Chen Lyusheng (China); Curator of the China Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale Dr. Li Xiangning (China); National Art Museum of China’s Curator of the Curatorial and Research Department Liu Chunfeng (China); CAPC Bordeaux Chief Curator Alice Motard (France); Independent Curator and 89plus Europe, Africa and India Director Julie Boukobza (France); GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Chief Curator Alessandro Rabottini (Italy); MART Museum of Trento/Rovereto Director Gianfranco Maraniello (Italy); and Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht Curator of Contemporary Art Paula van den Bosch (The Netherlands).
EXPO CHICAGO’s robust programming allowed visitors the opportunity to extend discussion and discourse beyond the booths of the fair. /Dialogues, presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, once again offered panel discussions, conversations and provocative artistic discourse between today’s most respected art professionals including a featured symposium Present Histories: Art & Design in Chicago in conjunction with The Terra Foundation for American Art’s year-long initiative Art Design Chicago, featuring a performative intervention by artist Brendan Fernandes and conversations featuring writer Sarah Thornton, AfriCOBRA founding member Gerald Williams (SAIC BFA 1951), artists Torkwase Dyson, Kay Rosen, Theaster Gates (SAIC HON 2014) and more.
Additional panels included a discussion with 2017 MacArthur Fellow Dawoud Bey on the artist’s continued interest in the ways in which history can be engaged, invoked and materialized in relation to African American history and experience; an open-to-the-public conversation for the Curatorial Forum on immersion and the senses in exhibition making, featuring Anna Gritz (Curator | KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and 2018 EXPO VIDEO Curator), Andria Hickey (Senior Curator | MOCA Cleveland), Sean Raspet (Artist | Jessica Silverman Gallery) and Jo-ey Tang (Director of Exhibitions | Beeler Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design), moderated by Stephanie Cristello (Director of Programming | EXPO CHICAGO, Editor-in-Chief | THE SEEN, SAIC BFA 2013); Iván Navarro and Marcela Guerrero (Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art) on institutional structures of power; a conversation moderated by Co-Curator of the U.S. Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale Mimi Zeiger with architects and scholars on how data is visualized, and the responsibility of representation; and Daniel Berger, a leading clinician and researcher in the field of HIV/AIDS as well as an avid art collector and Founder of Iceberg Projects, on the occasion of his recent book Militant Eroticism: The ART+Positive Archives published by Sternberg Press.
As part of the 2018 Exchange by Northern Trust: An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting, a series of exclusive discussions on the contemporary art market, institutions and the economy, EXPO CHICAGO and Art Vérité partnered to present the inaugural Professionals Forum in the United States. The Forum provided professional and preventative specialist knowledge and skills as it relates to the growing legal issues of fraudulent activity in art. Discussion topics included: Contract is King: Due Diligence and Reducing Problems in Art Dealing, Caveat Emptor: Equipping Collectors and Art Professionals and Safeguarding Your Rights: What Artists and Collectors Need to Know. Panelists included Dr. Sharon Flescher, Executive Director of IFAR and Editor-In-Chief of the IFAR Journal; Andrea Danese, CEO and President of Athena Art Finance Corp.; and Brian C. Brusokas, Special Agent for the FBI Art Crime Team.
Additional panelists for Exchange by Northern Trust: An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting included collectors Mamadou-Abou Sarr and Catherine Sarr, President of Strategic Giving and The Chicago Community Trust Executive Committee Member, Shawn M. Donnelley, Desert X Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Artsy Senior Market Reporter Eileen Kinsella.
Curated by Pablo León la Barra, the 2018 IN/SITU program featured major suspended installations in addition to large-scale work capitalizing on the unique architecture of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. IN/SITU featured the work of Carmen Argote (Instituto de Visión | Bogota), Iván Argote (PERROTIN | New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai), Firelei Báez (Kavi Gupta | Chicago), Judy Chicago (Jessica Silverman Gallery | San Francisco and Salon 94 | New York), Sam Durant (Praz-Delavallade | Los Angeles, Paris), Iván Navarro (Paul Kasmin Gallery | New York), Postcommodity (Bockley Gallery | Minneapolis), Carlos Motta (P.P.O.W | New York), Oscar Murillo (David Zwirner | New York, London, Hong Kong), Bosco Sodi (Paul Kasmin Gallery | New York).
The 2018 EXPO VIDEO program, Portrait of a Tongue — Towards Non-Visibility, was on view in two large-format screenings rooms on the main floor of Festival Hall. Curated by Anna Gritz, EXPO VIDEO featured an in-depth presentation by nine artists whose films question the material reality of contents pictured in an image. Artists included Kandis Williams (Night Gallery | Los Angeles), Ed Atkins (Gavin Brown’s enterprise | New York, Rome), Hannah Black (Arcadia Missa | London), Judy Chicago (Jessica Silverman Gallery | San Francisco and Salon 94 | New York), Tony Cokes (Video Data Bank), Adam Putnam (P.P.O.W | New York), Nicole Wermers (Jessica Silverman Gallery | San Francisco) and Kathleen White (Martos Gallery | New York). For a complete Curatorial Statement and descriptions of the selected artworks, click here.
IN/SITU Outside, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events featured the work of Justin Brice Guariglia (MARUANI MERCIER) Iván Navarro (Paul Kasmin Gallery) and Lawrence Weiner and will be on display for an extended period of time throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods and along the lakefront.
OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project, in collaboration with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, allowed EXPO CHICAGO to once again further extend its reach throughout the city by placing the work of 13 artists from local, national and international galleries on Chicago’s City Digital Network. As part of a dedicated site-specific installation series, Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates displayed his latest series Black Madonna (2018) exclusively on the billboard located at 515 W. Ida B. Wells Dr. The citywide public art initiative launched September 17 and is on view through October 7. For a complete listing of all OVERRIDE artists and documentation, click here.
EXPO CHICAGO presented the second annual EXPO Sound program during the seventh edition. Curated by Daata Editions, work by renowned contemporary artists were paired with sound pieces produced by current students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The program was installed at the /Dialogues Stage within the exposition hall, providing a dynamic interlude to the panel programming at the 2018 edition. For a list of artists and work, click here.
19 Special Exhibitions were included in this year’s exposition highlighting EXPO CHICAGO’s mission to illustrate and preserve the important link between the arts, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations through unique and high-quality exhibitions. Top museums, universities, organizations and institutions participated. For a complete list of participants and projects, click here.
EXPO CHICAGO also presented the third annual Art Critics Forum on Saturday, September 29. Moderated by THE SEEN writer Ruslana Lichtzier, “Criticism and the Image” featured presentations by noted journalists including freelance writer Ann Binlot, LEAP Editor-in-Chief Robin Peckham, Art in America Editor William S. Smith and Terremotto Editor Diego Del Valle Rios, followed by a roundtable discussion.
For more programming, please visit expochicago.com.
EXPO CHICAGO, in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival, The Terra Foundation for American Art and Navy Pier, presented Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon on Saturday, September 29 from 1-6pm in Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom. The five-hour marathon comprised of back-to-back conversations with prominent Chicago innovators, led by one of the world’s most influential curators and critics Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of London’s Serpentine Galleries. Known for his dynamic, long-form interview sessions, Obrist sited iconic oral historian Studs Terkel as an inspiration for his creative practice. Notable interviewees included Theaster Gates, Jeanne Gang, Dawoud Bey, Gerald Williams, Joseph Grigley, and Stanley Tigerman. Creative Chicago was funded in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art and was a centerpiece program of its year-long, citywide initiative, Art Design Chicago, celebrating the city’s rich art and design history through exhibitions and special events throughout 2018.
Returning for the sixth year as EXPO CHICAGO’s Presenting Sponsor, Northern Trust’s partnership continues to ensure the fair’s longevity and ability to attract art influencers from around the world. In addition to sponsorship of the VIP Collectors Lounge, Northern Trust once again offered clients a private VIP experience in the Northern Trust Anchor Lounge. The Northern Trust Exchange Stage provided a dedicated venue for Northern Trust’s signature programming, including Exchange by Northern Trust: An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting, which featured panel discussions with top arts professionals from around the world. As part of the 2018 program, EXPO CHICAGO and Art Vérité partnered to present the inaugural Professionals Forum in the United States. The Forum provided professional and preventative specialist knowledge and skills as it relates to the growing legal issues of fraudulent activity in art.
Northern Trust, along with EXPO CHICAGO sponsors Louis Vuitton, NetJets, One Bennett Park and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, also hosted an exclusive dinner at 19 East featuring an artist discussion with Gerald Williams and Nick Cave moderated by Threewalls Executive Director Jeffreen Hayes, with a menu and appearance by Chef Stephen Gillanders of S.K.Y., as part of the Northern Trust Collectors Experience.
On Saturday, September 28, Northern Trust awarded the Northern Trust Purchase Prize to Amir H. Fallah for the painting Calling on the Past. The work was exhibited by Shulamit Nazarian as part of the EXPOSURE section (galleries eight years and younger) of the exposition. The piece was gifted to the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.
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