EXPO CHICAGO 2014 Review – Third Successful Year at Navy Pier



The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, or EXPO CHICAGO for short, held court at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall from September 18 – 21, 2014, as well as at coordinated outside exhibits throughout the city. 





2014 exhibitors selected for inclusion in EXPO CHICAGO included 140 of the world’s top galleries, representing 17 countries and 43 cities ranging from London, Tokyo, Milan, Mexico City and beyond. 







Many of Chicago’s most prominent galleries were also exhibitors, including:  Russell Bowman Art Advisory; Valerie Carberry Gallery; Corbett vs. Dempsey; Stephen Daiter Gallery; Douglas Dawson; Catherine Edelman Gallery; Richard Gray Gallery; Kavi Gupta; Carl Hammer Gallery; Rhona Hoffman Gallery; Alan Koppel Gallery; McCormick Gallery; moniquemeloche; THE MISSION; Richard Norton Gallery; Andrew Rafacz; Carrie Secrist Gallery; Linda Warren Projects; and last but  not least, the gallery that first introduced Deborah Butterfield’s work to Chicago, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery.





The presence and involvement of local and national organizations in EXPO CHICAGO makes it more of a city event and one with reach beyond the official run dates. 





Local sponsors included, among many others: the main sponsoring organization Northern Trust Bank, which will also be acquiring art from this show to add to their growing art collection, City Winery, and of course the Museum of Contemporary Art





Partnering with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, EXPO Chicago co-present “/Dialogues”, a year-round program of symposia, panel discussions and other artistic discourses.  With Columbia College Chicago, EXPO VIDEO showcased film, video and new media works that were selected by the exhibiting galleries. 





IN/SITU, curated by the Executive Director of Independent Curators International allowed exhibitors to showcase large installations, all of which made a striking footprint on the show floor. 




Big name artists’ works were in abundance—Mappelthorpe, Magdalena Abakanowicz, sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz, drawings by Matisse and Picasso and more.  



As much as these never fail to excite a “pinch me, is that really a Matisse I’m standing next to?” reflex, it’s actually the great variety in exhibited works that not only created visual interest but a take-away update of art happenings today. 





People at the show were sometimes solo, taking long looks at particular works that caught their eye.




Gaggles were chatting  up art happenings throughout the floor, or listening to gallery owners’ explanations of the works they were exhibiting, giving would-be patrons updates on the artists that they showcase.



At quiet times, gallery owners sat in their booths taking stock. 



This is a very, very soft sell art event where you are able to find what you want and take it in at your own pace.



Though at times you feel like the Modern Wing of the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art merged to bring you an extraordinary and comprehensive exhibit of what is happening in art today, take a closer look and you see that this is also a major business event for the city.  Gallery owners were talking to buyers and works were being sold beyond what was on display on the floor. 


To keep an eye unfolding on next year’s plans for EXPO CHICAGO visit the event web pages, online web magazine and blog.




Photos:  Peter Kachergis, unless otherwise indicated 


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