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EXPO Chicago Returns April 13 To Bring Innovative Art To The People

Written by on April 10, 2023

EXPO Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, is a cultural phenomenon Chicago has the privilege of hosting each spring. The four-day expo brings together curators, artists and industry leaders from around the world.

[image above, Barely Fair 2022. From right to left: Visible booths are Laten Space with Andrew Park, Bryan
Ruiz, Kalen Straus, Sayre Gomez, Grace Eunchong Lee; 4th Ward Project Space with Kay
Hofmann, and Michiko Itatani; Chicago Manual Style with Theodora Allen; The Green Gallery
with Richard Galling and Umico Niwa; and Extase with Danny Bredar.]

Marina Abramović,
Places of Power, Waterfall, 2013. ©Marina Abramović. Courtesy of the
Marina Abramović Archives and Sean Kelly.

Art, cultural exchanges and curated events are in the foreground of EXPO Chicago — bringing art to the people in new and exciting ways, with a week filled with conversations about art and various showcases. The exposition offers a new look at the city through the art its citizens and a selection of international artists create.

“Chicago is a city of diverse creative collaborators. We are proud to work alongside an incredible range of artists, curators, galleries and civic leaders to highlight a wide array of citywide art exhibitions and events which showcase Chicago as a leading international city for artistic talent, innovation, and rich cultural dialogue,” EXPO president and director Tony Karman stated in a press release. 

EXPO Chicago also hosts an annual Cultural Forum and international Cultural Exchange, bringing more than 75 curators from around the world to Chicago for collaborative round table discussions about art and culture in the industry. 

Meanwhile, Pigment International, a Black woman-led, multi-media art platform and magazine publisher, will showcase their newest publication, The Black Gallery Guide + (BGG+). The BGG+  is a resource that lists galleries, art fairs, museums and services offered by Black purveyors across the globe. This first-of-its kind publication also includes profiles of gallery owners.

Skin + Masks III, curated by Vic Mensa and Chanelle Lacy. Installation view on The Magnificent
Mile ®. Photo by Faith Kelsey Photography.

Special featured installations include Amy Sherald’s piece, in the Neo Chicago exhibition at the Peninsula Chicago and Derrick Adams’s Funtime Unicorn, showcasing an installation at Navy Pier. Other participants in the core programs include Chance the Rapper, Richard Bell, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Candida Alvarez, Sanford Biggers, For Freedoms, Aïda Muluneh, Esmaa Mohamoud, The Floating Museum, Stephanie Syjuco, Hank Willis Thomas and many more.

Additionally, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has partnered with Art at a Time Like This (ATLT) to create HOW ON EARTH, a climate-focused exhibit from artists Janet Biggs, Lily Kwong, Helina Metaferia and Jennifer Wen Ma that aims to showcase the power of artists to address the climate crisis, and to spotlight the disproportionate burden climate impacts have on women.

This year also marks a decade of Navy Pier being the home of EXPO Chicago programming, but programming will also take place at satellite sites including the Gene Siskel Film Center, Stony Island Arts Bank (the South Side building, once bound for demolition, is also celebrating its centennial this weekend) and The Magnificent Mile (where Vic Mensa and Chanelle Lacy curated an installation called Skin + Masks III).

Events begin on April 13 and run through April 16; a full list of programming can be found at

EXPO CHICAGO 2022 Image Courtesy of EXPO CHICAGO. Photo by Justin Barbin.

Written by Joshua X. Miller

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