EXPO CHICAGO Announces New Virtual and In-Person Fall 2020 Programming

EXPO CHICAGO 2019. Image courtesy of Justin Barbin. 



The international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO, which usually launches and dominates the region's cultural calendar each September, made the decision to move to spring 2021 earlier this summer due to the global pandemic. 

Introducing its first predominantly virtual initiative and in an effort to still support the local art community this season while also engaging with collectors, curators and artists around the world, EXPO CHICAGO just announced that it is hosting new 2020 fall programs: EXHIBITION Weekend (September 25–27) and Alternate Assembly (October 15–18). 

“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.

EXHIBITION Weekend – taking place during the days the fair was to happen on Navy Pier (September 25–27, 2020) – underscores EXPO CHICAGO’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.”

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, a custom viewing room in the EXHIBITION Weekend (September 25–27) platform, and via the Artsy Marketplace.

Facility, Nick Cave and Bob Faust. 2019 Limited-Edition Print.Limited Edition of 200. 9 color lithograph. 30 in x 21 in, 76.2 x 53.3 cm. Signed by the artist.

Virtual program highlights of EXHIBITION Weekend include:

·        Artist-led Tours offering intimate glimpses into the studios of Chicago’s leading artists, including Barbara Kasten;

·        The premiere performance of Angel Bat Dawid’s composition “Peace: A Suite for Skylanding, A Mended Petal Odyssey” commissioned by The Art Institute of Chicago in response to Yoko Ono’s first permanent public sculpture in the United States, located in Jackson Park on the south side of Chicago;

·        The opening reception for the Driehaus Museum's exhibition, A Tale of Today with Nate Young and Mika Horibuchi.


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.


Chicago audiences will also 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. In-person exhibition highlights include:

  • The Art Institute of Chicago | Richard Hunt: Scholar’s Rock or Stone of Hope or Love of Bronze; Malangatana: Mozambique Modern; El Greco: Ambition & Defiance
  • Museum of Contemporary Art ChicagoChicago Works: Deborah Stratman; Alien vs. Citizen; The Location of Lines; Just Connect
  • Driehaus Museum | A Tale of Today: Nate Young & Mika Horibuchi 
  • Wrightwood 659 | Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People 
  • Renaissance Society | Nine Lives: Raven Chacon, Bethany Collins, Tamar Guimarães, Kapwani Kiwanga, Hương Ngô, Aliza Nisenbaum, Alison O'Daniel, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Elle Pérez, and Charlotte Prodger
  • Neubauer Collegium for Culture and SocietyApsáalooke Women and Warriors
  • Hyde Park Art Center | Artists Run Chicago 2.0
  • DePaul Art Museum | Kathryn Andrews
  • Elmhurst Art Museum | A Space Program: Organized by David Salkin
  • GRAY | McArthur Binion / Jim Lutes
  • Mariane Ibrahim | Amaoko Boafo
  • Monique Meloche Gallery | Jake Troyli
  • Kavi Gupta | Deborah Kass, Orange Disaster (Linda Nochlin); WHEN FIRE IS APPLIED TO A STONE IT CRACKS; Better Nights
  • Rhona Hoffman Gallery | Spencer Finch
  • DOCUMENT | Erin Jane Nelson
  • Western Exhibitions | Elijah Burgher
  • Andrew Rafacz | Melissa Leandro
  • David Salkin Creative | Rami George: Untitled (the wars in Lebanon)
  • 2020 West Town Art Walk
Amoako Boafo, Green Beret, 2020. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim, a participating gallery in EXHIBITION Weekend


In case you have the travel bug, even if you're local, 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 or “staycation” in Chicago during EXHIBITION Weekend. A tailored itinerary of select experiences, gallery exhibitions, and museum openings will be provided.


For a full list of additional EXHIBITION Weekend programming and events including dates, times and locations, visit


In early 2021 will present Alternate Assembly 2020, a virtual symposium featuring live-streamed discussions between leading curators, artists, and scholars worldwide addressing environmental impact within the era of pandemic. (October Update: the original dates were posted as October 15–18, 2020)

As a continuation of EXPO CHICAGO's year-round programming curated in response to contemporary issues, Alternate Assembly 2020 will engage the fair’s local and global audience through film screenings and live-streamed panel discussions featuring leading curators, artists, and scholars that will be open to the public. Building upon Chicago’s long legacy of supporting alternative models to exhibitions and engagement with contemporary art, the virtual symposium will address the ways in which contemporary art can contribute to rethinking our environment within the era of pandemic. Additional details to be announced at a later date.

“Committed to providing a forum for critical dialogue within the contemporary art world, EXPO CHICAGO’s virtual symposium will unite creators, curators, and critics to examine some of the most vital issues of our time," states Stephanie Cristello, Artistic Director of EXPO CHICAGO. “Alternate Assembly invites artists whose works address issues such as environmental racism, colonial histories, and sustainability to engage in meaningful discourse with leaders of institutions and non-profits. Through film screenings and panel discussions, Alternate Assembly highlights the ways in which contemporary art engages and interrogates the physical and socioeconomic structures in which we as individuals co-exist—and in doing so, offers up pathways for meaningful change within the art world and beyond.”

For the eighth consecutive year, Northern Trust returns as Presenting Sponsor of EXPO CHICAGO and related programs EXHIBITION Weekend and Alternate Assembly.