EXPO Art Week – September 11-17, 2017



Chicago has a long and revered art fair history that spans decades, and the current part of that long legacy is EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art. As the fair enters its sixth year, it's clear that this latest edition will be its strongest to date, heralding a host of positive developments for the future of Chicago's cultural community. EXPO has become proof of the second-to-none arts community that the Second City has to offer to the world, in an unparalleled, architectural setting on the edge of Lake Michigan. 

Built around rigorous and challenging programming, strategic international partnerships and strong institutional relationships with major local museums and organizations, the opening of EXPO CHICAGO launches the international fall art season, making Chicago the place to be in September. There is so much to see in area museums, galleries and public spaces around Chicago. 

Following are some key events to watch this week, as well as highlights from EXPO's special programs and a list of notable exhibitors. Check out for the complete guide. Our CGN Arts Calendar is also full of EXPO events, new gallery and museum exhibitions, and much more. 

We look forward to EXPO all year, and we are thrilled that this art-filled week is finally here. See you in the galleries and at the fair! - GV


Special Programming Highlights

In addition to seeing the world's top galleries under one room, EXPO offers opportunities to connect with the international art community through unique programming. 


/Dialogues, Presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), /Dialogues offers panel discussions, conversations and provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals on the current issues that engage them. A curated component of the 2017 program, the second annual Symposium will feature a day-long series of discussions and discourse surrounding the intersecting fields of art and architecture.

• IN/SITU, Installed within the expansive, vaulted architecture of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, IN/SITU features large-scale, suspended sculptures and site-specific works. Independent Curator Florence Derieux curates a selection of works featuring artists from leading international exhibitors participating in the 2017 exposition. 

• IN/SITU Outside, temporary public art installations situated along the Lakefront and throughout Chicago neighborhoods. Look for works by Tom Friedman, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, Isa Genzken, Mark Di Suvero, Christopher Wool and others around the city in September.

• EXPO VIDEO, A dynamic, curated screening program for film, video and new media works by artists represented by 2017 exhibitors. Curated by Los Angeles-based independent curator, Ali Subotnick, the program will be presented within large-format screening rooms on the main floor of the exposition.

• Booth Talks, Performances, Book Signings, and Screenings – Highlights:

Thursday, September 14: A performance from the Human Rights Watch in conjunction with the Tea Project. 12pm.

 Friday, September 15: Graham Foundation Pop-Up Bookshop - offering a selection of titles related to new, historically significant, and rare publications on architecture, urbanism, art, and related fields. 12:00–7:00pm on the /Dialogues Stage

– Saturday, September 16: Performance: Nick Cave's HEARD Chicago, a production by the artist featuring a herd of 30 colorful horses performing choreographed movements, accompanied by jazz musician and composer Kahil El’Zabar and the Chicago Children’s Choir. 1:00pm and 3:30pm in Polk Bros. Park at Navy Pier

– Sunday, September 17: Book Signing: Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West, the first major publication on the work of the acclaimed Iraqi-American artist. Based in Chicago, Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973) explores contested social, cultural, and political histories in his work. The signing follows a /Dialogues panel with Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. 3:15–4:00pm at Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Booth #419)


Notable Exhibitors in 2017

EXPO features a growing list of exhibiting galleries this year. Some notable participants from outside of Chicago include:

• Gagosian, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Geneva, Hong Kong
• Galerie Gmurzynska, New York
• König Galerie, Berlin
• Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris, New York
• Diana Lowenstein Gallery, Miami
• Luhring Augustine, Brooklyn, New York
• Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, Los Angeles
• ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul
• Karla Osorio Gallery, Brasilia
• Sims Reed Gallery, London
• Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon
• Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles
• David Zwirner, New York, London
• Whitechapel Gallery, London (part of EXPOSURE)

To see the complete list of all galleries exhibiting at EXPO CHICAGO click here.


Friday Night is Art After Hours

Art After Hours is a citywide open gallery night inviting EXPO CHICAGO visitors and the Chicago community to experience the city's vibrant art scene, including alternative exhibition venues and performance spaces, during extended hours. After the fair, head out into the various gallery centers around the city to see the season's best exhibitions on view. 


Highlights from EXPO ART WEEK

Carrie Mae Weems: Ritual and Revolution
September 12 – December 10, 2017
Exhibition Open 10:00am – 5:00pm

Composed of 18 diaphanous printed cloth banners organized in architectural formation with a poetic audio track, Ritual and Revolution explores the historic human struggle for equality and justice.


Emmanuel Pratt: Radical [Re]Constructions
September 12, 2017 - Summer 2018, open 10am - 5pm

Emmanuel Pratt's interdisciplinary approach to regenerative place making on the South Side of Chicago mixes art, architecture, and community and economic development. 


Tony Lewis: Howling
September 12 – October 21, 2017, opening reception on September 12, 4 – 7pm


Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West 
September 16, 2017 - March 4, 2018, open 10am - 5pm

Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz creates illustrated objects, installations, and performances that invite viewers to contemplate their complicit relationship to the political world around them, recognizing that hospitality and hostility are interlinked.


Infinite Games
September 14, 2017 - March 16, 2018 
Opening Reception, 7 - 10:00pm

Presented by John Preus and Open House Contemporary, Infinite Games invites over 40 local, national, and international artists to produce work in response to and from materials salvaged from 50 Chicago public schools closed in 2013.


Show Hours and Basic Information

VERNISSAGE - Purchase Tickets Here
• Wednesday, Sept 13 6-9pm
A benefit for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, presented by the MCA Women's Board. 

GENERAL ADMISSIONPurchase Tickets Here
• Thursday, Sept 14 11a-7p
• Friday, Sept 15, 11a-7p
• Saturday, Sept 16, 11a-7p
• Sunday, Sept 17, 11a-6p

EXPO CHICAGO is located at Chicago's historic Navy Pier in the Festival Hall: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago IL 60611


Top image: Nick Cave's Up Right Chicago performance during Vernissage for the opening night of EXPO CHICAGO 2017 in Navy Pier's Aon Ballroom