EXHIBITION Weekend Brings Art Fair Weekend to Local Galleries
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
EXPO Weekend is here. It's officially called EXHIBITION Weekend in 2020, and it's not taking place at Navy Pier with 40,000 fair visitors, but coordinated in-person and virtual programming and openings in area galleries is taking place in the coming days, along with special events and a curatorial forum, in the spirit of any other EXPO CHICAGO weekend.
Early this summer EXPO CHICAGO, which typically dominates the region's cultural calendar each September and heralds the start of a major fall art season, made the decision to move to spring 2021 due to the global pandemic. The fair's first predominantly virtual initiative is not actually focused on the fair itself and its exhibitors, but in community galleries and arts groups in an effort to tangibly support that local community this season while also engaging with collectors, curators and artists around the world.
“Given EXPO CHICAGO’s commitment to our community, there was no hesitation to make our first predominantly virtual initiative in support of Chicago—celebrating the breadth and scope of the city’s vibrant creative community while providing an access point for international audiences to connect with local artists, gallerists, and collectors. With support from Presenting Sponsor Northern Trust and others, we are proud to partner with Hook on the development of the online viewing room that will enable EXPO CHICAGO to continue to present the highest quality platform for contemporary art and culture,” said Tony Karman, President | Director of EXPO CHICAGO.
Taking place during the days the fair was to happen on Navy Pier (September 25–27, 2020) EXHIBITION Weekend underscores EXPO's commitment to local galleries, artists, and institutions, showcasing Chicago-based exhibitions, curatorial projects, and artist programs through a series of virtual programs including studio visits, exhibition and gallery tours, and discussions accessible globally, as well as a custom online viewing and sales platform developed by Hook, an online venue for seasoned art collectors and leading galleries.
“At a time when we are all craving more activity and interaction with one another, we are happy to be able to partner with EXPO CHICAGO to provide a way for people to experience EXHIBITION Weekend remotely,” said Hook Founder Jake Nyquist. “Hook will approximate the experience of an in-person art fair, allowing visitors to navigate the fair at their own pace and in whatever direction they choose.”
The link to the fair will go live at 10 AM Friday, September 25
Launching EXHIBITION Weekend on Thursday, September 24, EXPO CHICAGO will present a conversation with artists Nick Cave and Bob Faust, Quintin Williams of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, and Gabrielle Lyon of Illinois Humanities. With an introduction by philanthropist Agnes Gund, Founder of Art for Justice, this conversation will explore the concepts addressed in the limited-edition print designed by Nick Cave and Bob Faust, a Facility Art/Work collaboration printed by Landfall Press, in celebration of the 2019 edition of the exposition. The limited-edition print can be purchased at www.expochicago.com, a custom viewing room in the EXHIBITION Weekend (September 25–27) platform, and via the Artsy Marketplace
EXPO is also known for its robust VIP programming each fall, offering exclusive access to spaces and events traditionally held in person. This fall the program, still available by invitation only, has been adapted to go online and include a range of programming, from highly-sought after collector home tours (one this fall features the home of Chicago collectors Jack and Sandy Guthman) to VIP Art Advisor-led tours of EXHIBITION Weekend. Area curators will also lead tours of exhibitions by Chicago’s foremost institutions, including a behind-the-scenes conversation with Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Manilow Senior Curator, Naomi Beckwith, on the exhibition Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, co-curated with the Nigerian-born British fashion designer.
Participating galleries in EXHIBITION Weekend include:
Aaron Galleries, Jean Albano Gallery, Aspect/Ratio, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Devening Projects, DOCUMENT, Catherine Edelman Gallery, GRAY, Kavi Gupta, Carl Hammer Gallery, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Mariane Ibrahim, Alan Koppel Gallery, M.Leblanc, McCormick Gallery, MICKEY, Monique Meloche Gallery, Richard Norton Gallery, PATRON, Jason Pickleman, ANDREW RAFACZ, David Salkin Creative, Ken Saunders Gallery, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Volume Gallery, Western Exhibitions, and Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, among others. Participating alternative and project spaces include Arts of Life, Chicago Manual Style, The Franklin, Goldfinch, Julius Caesar, RUSCHMAN, and Weinberg/Newton Gallery, among others.
Local Participation and Opportunities for Engagement
Many area galleries are participating and have arranged special programming to coincide with their ongoing fall exhibitions. A few highlights are listed below, and the CGN calendar features more programming from area spaces this weekend.
Catherine Edelman Gallery will be presenting the works of Keliy Anderson-Staley, Rubén Martín de Lucas, Liat Elbling, Michael Koerner, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Francesco Pergolesi, and Gregory Scott in their online Viewing Room, and CEG will host a Zoom conversation with artists three artists featured in their ongoing exhibition What is Home?, on Friday, September 25 at 12pm. RSVP for the Zoom here.
Corbett vs Dempsey's presentation is focused on three artists: David Hartt, Margot Bergman, and Omar Velázquez. Hartt's The Histories (Old Black Joe) is on view by appointment at the gallery. They are also featuring two paintings by Bergman, and two new paintings by Velázquez, who will have a solo exhibition of new work at the MCA Chicago opening in late December.
Monique Meloche is featuring Candida Alvarez, David Antonio Cruz, Brendan Fernandes, Kajahl, Ebony G. Patterson, Cheryl Pope, Jake Troyli, and Nate Young. Young is also part of an exhibition also opening this weekend at the Driehaus Museum, A Tale of Today – Connecting Past & Present
Jean Albano Gallery is featuring work by gallery artists, including Bonnie Lautenberg, Margaret Wharton, Zack Wirsum, Donna Rosenthal and others.
Volume Gallery presents new works by Tanya Aguiñiga and Ross Hansen.
Western Exhibitions presents Jessica Labatte: Almanac for Shade Gardeners. Also, as a companion to the EXHIBITION Weekend presentation, the gallery is offering an online exclusive "In Depth with..." page online, alongside thoughts by the artist, essays by Elizabeth Chodos and Jeff M. Ward, a playlist from Eric May, a video interview from Silver Eye and more.
Chicago audiences will have select opportunities to view exhibitions in-person (by appointment) aligning with EXHIBITION Weekend. Safety precautions will include limited capacities, social distancing, mask requirements, and non-invasive temperature checks.
Many of the weekend's in-person exhibition highlights are detailed online. For a full list of additional EXHIBITION Weekend programming and events including dates, times and locations, visit www.expochicago.com.
Make a Weekend of It
Downtown Chicago has been much less crowded for awhile now, but in this delightful early fall weather, it's still a great time to have a mini break or "staycation" in the city, where you are close to this weekend's events and participating galleries. As a supplement to EXHIBITION Weekend, EXPO CHICAGO is working with official partner hotels The Peninsula Chicago and 21c Museum Hotel to offer 2-night stays for patrons wishing to visit Chicago during EXHIBITION Weekend. A tailored itinerary of select experiences, gallery exhibitions, and museum openings will be provided.