Spotlight on Chicago Galleries at EXPO


The world comes to Chicago during EXPO CHICAGO to experience what some of the best galleries in the world are exhibiting as well as what art in our city is like. For the international art fair's 7th edition, September 28–30, 2018, there is artwork by over 3,000 artists from 135 leading galleries representing 27 countries and 63 international cities. 

In the company of so many international galleries are also many highly respected local dealers. In this age of abundant art fairs, many collectors and arts supporters have gotten into the habit of bingeing on art that is all in the same place, all at one time. For Chicagoans this means that, though there are dozens of galleries operating in the city, hosting new exhibitions and openings every few weeks during the year, many people don't visit local spaces very regularly. As a result EXPO is in fact an ideal chance to catch up with our local stars as well as the esteemed guests from around the country and the world. And of course don't forget that there is an even wider community of galleries and artists who are rolling out the red carpet beyond the fair in the city's art districts and neighborhoods. 

In order to make this weekend's art binge as productive as possible, following is a summary of highlights from those galleries and arts institutions that proudly call Chicago home all year long. Make sure to say hi during EXPO, and then don't be a stranger once the fair is over.

If you're visiting from out of town, we hope you experience and appreciate the full extent of our city's creativity as well as welcoming nature while you are here. 


Corbett vs Dempsey (Booth #211)

Corbett vs. Dempsey's fair booth this year offers a view of history through the lens of art with 50 Years: 1969-2018 which it  says pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the response shows, which took place at various locations in Chicago in 1968. Following on the violent events surrounding the Democratic National Convention that year, artists, galleries and institutions around town mounted protests. In the booth, [the gallery] will exhibit actual works that were shown in these legendary exhibitions, including works by Seymour Rosofsky, Ed Flood, Art Green, William Weege, and Robert Donley, as well as many pieces that connect in spirit with those acts of defiance, including Joyce Pensato, Charline von Heyl, Robert Lostutter, Sam Gilliam, and Keiichi Tanaami. In addition to vintage works from 1968 – paintings, assemblage, drawings, prints and a film by Tom Palazzolo will round out the historical part of the booth. In contrast, we will also show work by contemporary artists that relate to these historical pieces, including John Sparagana, Cauleen Smith, David Hartt, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and Brian Calvin.


Richard Gray Gallery (Booth #139)

Richard Gray Gallery's booth at the fair features a range of gallery artists, but notable are works by Alex Katz (91) and David Hockney (81), who have each recently held major exhibitions of new work in the gallery's west side warehouse space in the Kinzie Corridor. The gallery's booth at the fair offers art by many artists whose work is prized around the world. Featured are: Alexander Calder, Bethany Collins, Joseph Cornell, Mark Di Suvero, Jim Dine, Arthur Dove, Sam Francis, Theaster Gates, Alberto Giacometti, Marsden Hartley, David Hockney, Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, David Klamen, Walt Kuhn, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Lutes, René Magritte, Roberto Matta, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Jaume Plensa, Leon Polk Smith, Evelyn Statsinger, and John Storrs.


Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Booth #219)

Rhona Hoffman Gallery's artists are participating in multiple aspects of the fair this year. A /DIALOGUES talk featuring artist Torkwase Dyson, whose exhibition is currently on view in the gallery in West Town, takes place Friday, September 28 at 4:00pm. The talk is titled, Alterity and The Exhibition Environment: Feminist History of Alternative Spaces in Chicago. 

Gallery artist amanda Williams' work is featured as part of EXPO in OVERRIDE / A BILLBOARD PROJECT. And a special exhibition with 6018North and 3Arts also presents Williams' work in Sanctuary – a social justice space designed by the artist and activated by 3Arts Make A Wave artists Carris Adams, Maya Camille Broussard, Mashaun Ali Hendricks, Nikki Patin, Amina Ross, and Rhonda Wheatley. The artists provide healing services, justice consultation, and above all, sanctuary. Sanctuary unveils a prototype of Justice Hotel – supported by a Joyce Foundation ideation grant – as a think tank for embodying the ideas and actions that support social justice and self-care. 

Another special exhibition at EXPO is PROJECTART, in which gallery artists Judy Ledgerwood & Nathaniel Mary Quinn are participants. ProjectArt transforms the nation’s public libraries into vital cultural hubs through artist residencies. The nonprofit’s award-winning model of change reaches 1,700 children in six cities throughout the country including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, and Pittsburgh as well as Chicago. 


Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (EXPO Booth #371)

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery has been in business in Chicago for over 40 years, and they've participated in Art Expo, Art Chicago and EXPO CHICAGO from the beginning. This year Z/L offers a special exhibition curated by gallery artist Buzz Spector, Hauntology. The gallery explains, "Jacques Derrida offered the term hauntology 25 years ago, describing how any attempt to locate origins or histories is dependent on (always) already existing language , which make 'haunting the state proper to being as such.' What haunts us now is not the past but the failure of the future we dreamed of to materialize. As another cultural theorist, Mark Fischer, puts it, 'The future is always experienced as a haunting,' so for artists depicting waking dreams, different imaginative spaces or alternative worlds, questions of 'when' as much as 'where' or 'whom' subtly haunt artworks of this exotic scenario or that. The artists Spector has selected each aspire to make sense of the world while simultaneously drawing forth specters of its often displaced reality." The exhibition features Phyllis Bramson, Lisa Corrine Davis, Harley Lafarrah Eaves, Vernon Fisher, Julie Heffernan, and Maria Tomasula. 


Stephen Daiter Gallery (Booth #319)

Stephen Daiter Gallery, which specializes in photography, has paired up with Rena Branstein this year to show a range of work, including a selection of images by Gary Schneider, among other artists. 


Catherine Edelman Gallery (Booth #167)

Catherine Edelman Gallery, another local space focusing on photography, brings a range of work to the fair this year, including moving image constructions by gallery artist Gregory Scott. See down the page for details on Edelman's special project for CASE Art Fund.  


Kavi Gupta (Booth #121)

Kavi Gupta Gallery's list of artists is much admired and widely known and the gallery's vibrant booth is continually popular at EXPO. Currently represented artists demonstrate a strong exhibition record with museum solo shows and biennales, with works having been placed in important institutional and public collections. 

This year the gallery has a special project onsite that is a companion to its gallery exhibition opening Saturday night, africobra50.


McCormick Gallery (Booth #255)

McCormick Gallery, once again in partnership with Vallarino Gallery, features art by several Abstract Expressionists as well as contemporary artists working in a similar style, such as Anna Kunz, Darrell Roberts, Ben Tinsley, and Vidvuds Zviedris. 


moniquemeloche (Booth #321)

Monique Meloche's gallery booth this year features a range of work in various mediums, in particular watercolors on paper by Jeff Sonhouse, constructions made of quilts and gold leaf by Sanford Biggers, Ebony Patterson's large-scale paper and plastic crown collages, and sculpture by Brendan Fernandes, whose work is also part of DePaul Art Museum's booth nearby.


Richard Norton Gallery (Booth #275)

Richard Norton Gallery focuses on notable American + European Impressionist + Modern paintings, drawings + sculpture from the 19th + early 20th Centuries. Tucked away in Chicago's iconic Merchandise Mart, their booth's aesthetic at the fair offers a departure from the contemporary spaces of most galleries, as they've even displayed traditionally framed art casually leaning against walls or perched on shelves. If you don't pay attention you can almost miss a stunning small work by Gertrude Abercrombie, The Night Visitor.


Carrie Secrist Gallery (Booth #137)

Carrie Secrist's booth this year pairs bright, inviting works by artists like Anne Lindberg, Whitney Bedford and Andrew Holmquist, with small scale sculptural constructions by Liliana Porter, which need close examination and contemplation and also lend themselves well to social media likes...


CASE Art Fund (Booth #154)

CASE Art Fund, founded by Catherine Edelman, of Catherine Edelman Gallery, and Anette Skuggedal of Oslo, provides support and exposure to fine art photographers whose projects focus on humanitarian issues that create a positive impact on social awareness, human rights, and education. Through a bi-annual grant, CASE will support an artist that aligns with the funds mission. The resulting photographs will be exhibited on billboards, kiosks, and other forms of public presentations, supported by discussions, workshops and small dinners. Syrian activist and photographer Omar Imam (b. 1979, Damascus) uses irony and a conceptual approach to respond to the violent situation in Syria. Live, Love, Refugee and Syrialsim is Imam’s photographic response to the chaos erupting in his homeland.


Chicago Artists Coalition (Booth #174)

Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) presents the BOLT Artist-in-Residence Benjamin Larose uses the language of objects and material culture to creates pieces that explore themes such as gender, sexuality, status or taste, and question our assumptions on what it means to be “normal”. Larose's pieces are bold, irreverent and unapologetic, and transport viewers to a place where difference is depicted as epic and triumphant. CAC is a non-profit organization that supports contemporary Chicago artists and curators by offering residency programs, exhibitions, professional development and resources that enable them to live, work and thrive in the city.  


Threewalls (Booth #465)

Threewalls presents Nnenna Okore, a current RaD Lab artist. Okore's exhibition, Guilty Pleasures, highlights the effects of climate change, encouraging viewers to connect and re-connect with the natural world. By manipulating materials part of our everyday experience—paper, string, burlap and wire—into sculptural forms that often mimic forms in nature, Okore's presentation will incorporate some of these materials, with conversations from social media, material waste from Chicago homes, and Okore's own reflections on ecological changes to create a highly sensory multimedia experience.


Hyde Park Art Center (Booth #176)

HPAC's installation at EXPO includes a wall painting by 2016 Jackman Goldwasser Resident Artist, Eric J. Garcia and an chain link installation by current Center Program artist Frances Lightbound.


The Renaissance Society (Booth #469)

The Renaissance Society is offering hands down the most affordable art for sale at this year's fair: they're bringing back the exhibition poster! For sale. For $15. Buy all of them.


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Booth #441)

SAIC's booth this year features multiple works by current students and recent graduates. A 10 part, individually titled work accompanied by an explanatory diagram is by 2018 MFA graduate Kevin Demery.



• Alan Koppel Gallery
The Conservation Center
• Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
• University of Chicago Department of Visual Arts


Come see it all for yourself, and more, at EXPO CHICAGO through Sunday, September 30, 2018 at Navy Pier.