A Decade In: EXPO ART WEEK Highlights Span the City

From left: Hank Willis Thomas and Chance the Rapper; Marina Abramovic; Amy Sherald


EXPO CHICAGO marks its 10th anniversary this month. Borne from the city’s multi-decade legacy of ground-breaking, internationally recognized art fairs, EXPO CHICAGO’s founder and President Tony Karman forged a new era a decade ago through his vision to return the fair to Navy Pier, where it all began, and carefully tend to the quality of the exhibitor list and curatorial programming. Since 2012 he has grown EXPO despite significant obstacles, pandemic pauses and seasonal date changes. Karman, ever the tireless optimist has helped to foster countless artistic as well as civic opportunities and has secured EXPO’s reputation as an international, Chicago-based fair today and in the future.

Since its inception, EXPO CHICAGO has remained dedicated to supporting local, regional, and international arts communities through its role as a leading contemporary art exposition, presenting one of the highest quality platforms for curatorial programming and discourse alongside its participating galleries. With strong regional support throughout the Greater Midwest, both coasts, and maintaining a growing international commitment from Europe, Asia, and Latin America, EXPO CHICAGO continues to leverage its strategic position in the center of the United States this spring as it celebrates a decade of artistic impact. 

Hundreds of exhibitions, openings and more are planned, and we encourage you to review the calendar in advance as much as possible. Many events are open to the public but some are for VIPs only. Please check dates and details.

EXPO ART WEEK runs April 10—16


This feature is from the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of CGN. To subscribe in print click here.


Hank Willis Thomas and Chance the Rapper



For EXPO CHICAGO’s keynote conversation during its 10th Anniversary opening, Chance the Rapper will be in conversation with Hank Willis Thomas, each looking at recent public art projects and their community building potential. Chance will discuss his current and upcoming Star Line Gallery visual art collaborations and recent Black Star Line Festival in Ghana, while Hank will present his upcoming public art sculpture Reach in collaboration with Coby Kennedy at O’Hare International Airport in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the many recent initiatives of For Freedoms including For Freedoms News. This panel is presented in partnership with CULTURED.

April 13, 7–8pm




Woo woo Woo: Curated by Jeanette Bisschops
Performance | April 14, 3:00pm | West Terrace, Lower Level
Screenings | April 13-16 | EXPO CHICAGO Booth #451  

Inspired by observations of the historical connections between religious rituals and collective dance; choreographer, dancer and artist Michele Rizzo navigates the transformative power of contemporary techno music in his performance HIGHER.xtn. Initially brought to life for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2018, the performance toured to several European art institutions. The presentation of HIGHER.xtn at EXPO CHICAGO will be Rizzo’s first-ever performance in the United States. Make sure to catch this performance on Friday, April 14 at 3:00pm on the First Floor, West Terrace near ticketing at EXPO CHICAGO.

This performance is curated by Jeanette Bisschops as a part of her exhibition Woo woo Woo | Booth #451. 


Left: Derrick Adams, Light Tunnel Flyer, 2023. Courtesy of Derrick Adams Studio and The Channel Design © 2023. Right: Art onTHEMART



Derrick Adams’ Funtime Unicorn, April 13–June 25 at Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park, is a continuation of Adams’ focus on play and leisure in the Black community. 

His nightly projections kick off on April 14 and are part of Art on theMART nightly through July 5, 8:30–10:00pm  
The Merchandise Mart | Viewable along Chicago's Riverwalk 

ART on THE MART, in partnership with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, presents the opening of Derrick Adams: Funtime Unicorn, viewable on Friday, April 14 at 8:30 pm. Projections are best enjoyed along the Chicago Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin Streets. 


Amy Sherald, All the Unforgotten Bliss (the Early Bird), 2017. Image courtesy of the artist, Beth Rudin DeWoody and The Peninsula Chicago.



Neo Chicago is a contemporary art exhibition presented by The Peninsula Chicago, curated by Laura Dvorkin and Maynard Monrow. This exhibition is the second installment of the collaboration between The Peninsula Chicago, Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, and EXPO CHICAGO which commenced in 2016. This exhibit celebrates Chicago galleries, their passion in showing world-renowned artists, and DeWoody’s support of these cultural spaces over the past 20 years. 

April 13–Early June 2023 
The Peninsula Chicago | 108 E Superior St


Marina Abramović, Places of Power, Waterfall, 2013. Image credit: © Marina Abramović, courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives and Sean Kelly. 


Curator Zoe Lukov and cultural producer Abby Pucker, co-founders of the nonprofit creative enterprise Art in Common, present the newest iteration of the large-scale group exhibition, Boil, Toil + Trouble. The exhibition features work by over 50 contemporary artists in a multigenerational grouping that examines water through the lens of magic, ritual, and the role of the ‘witch’, or medium, in contemporary art. Free to the public, the travelling exhibition evolves to address water-related issues in each city it inhabits through new site-specific commissions and community-based programming. The exhibition pairs work by Chicago-based artists including Armani Howard and Ricardo Partida in conversation with rarely exhibited works by canonical artists Marina Abramović, Radcliffe Bailey, Niki de Saint Phalle, David Hammons, Maya Lin, Ana Mendieta, Bruce Nauman, and many more. 

April 13–14 | 10:00am–5:00pm 
April 15–16 | 10:00am–7:00pm  
April 17–20 | 2:00pm–8:00pm 
April 21–23 | 8:00am–10:00pm

Art in Common | 400 N. Peoria St. 


Kenny Schachter



Kenny Schachter’s immersive installation Chicago is, was, will be… was commissioned by the 150 Media Stream and created with Artificial Intelligence. The work features a hypothetical vision of Chicago as it might have appeared in prehistoric times, collaged with manipulated depictions of the city at present, and theoretical depictions of its appearance in the future. The images will be commingled with ChatGPT machine learning-generated text based upon the lyrics from the 1964 song My Kind of Town (Chicago is). The looping video will combine text and images to create a forward-looking remix that covers a wide spectrum of history and popular culture, put through the blender of artificial intelligence, which will define much human activity in the digital renaissance we are living through. 

On view April 13–June 30, 2023 
Opening Reception | April 14 | 6:00–8:00pm 
Artist Talk | 6:00pm | Kenny Schachter in conversation with Bianca Bova  
150 Media Stream | 150 N Riverside Plaza