Artist Tara Donovan's "Untitled" will be on exhibit at Expo Chicago by Pace Gallery
When: Thursday through Sept. 23
Where: Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand
Tickets: $20 one-day pass; $65 four-day pass
Info: (312) 867-9220; www.expochicago.com
In the 1980s and ’90s, the now-defunct Art Chicago and its predecessor reigned as the premier contemporary art fair in the country, drawing top dealers, collectors, critics and curators from around the world.
Organizers of Expo Chicago, a new fair that opens Thursday at Navy Pier, hope to reclaim the luster of that event at its peak and again make the city a must-visit destination for art-world movers and shakers.
“The city of Chicago — galleries, institutions, dealers, collectors, civic business leaders — gets a chance again to do it right, ” said Expo Chicago president and director Tony Karman. “This is the time to do an international art fair in a way that truly befits our legacy.”
But restoring Chicago’s place in the field will not be easy, because of new competition from several other high-profile fairs, including the now-dominant Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as a host of regional shows in cities such as Dallas, Santa Fe and Aspen.
In addition, some past visitors might be hesitant to return because of lingering memories of gallery defections and other problems surrounding the last years of Art Chicago after it moved to the Merchandise Mart in 2006.
Karman doesn’t deny the challenges facing Expo Chicago, but he points to the success the nascent event already has had in attracting key dealers and generating a buzz in the art world. Organizers have recruited 100 major dealers, including such heavy-hitters as Galerie Buchholz (Cologne), Matthew Marks Gallery (New York and Los Angeles) and Anthony Meier Fine Arts (San Francisco). In addition, 20 up-and-comers like Van Horn (Dusseldorf) and Clifton Benevento (New York) will be represented in the Expo’s Exposure program.
Not needing much persuasion was Nancy Hoffman, whose respected New York gallery took part in every past Chicago art fair before she became disenchanted and skipped last year. She praised Karman and the “really superb roster” of galleries he has assembled.
“He wanted to create a fair that was right for Chicago, ” Hoffman said, “that had 100 galleries — a perfect size and not overwhelming for people. He’s doing everything absolutely top-flight.”
I forgot my own challenge. Not surprising considering I barely slept this weekend.
Friday night, headed out to WV to go to the Weston State Hospital. Stopped in Morgantown on the way there, and had some way yummy pizza. The hospital building was creepy enough by itself, the haunted house scared the hell out of me. Afterwards we talked to the people that set it up, and they told us numerous stories about actual hauntings of the building. I was originally going to do an overnight there. Not so much anymore, I'm good, I know it's haunted, my fiances going to go and I'm staying home with the dog!
Saturday had one adoption, ate at my favorite lebanese restaurant, and figured out that I'm going to be Misfits Danzig for halloween which lead to me dying my hair black and destroying my bathroom