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Expo Chicago, one of the most significant US art fairs, is preparing for eleventh edition and first since it was acquired in the summer of 2023 by London-based expo and media company Frieze. The fair’s upcoming edition, running 11 April to 14 April inside Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier, will feature stands from around 170 commercial galleries, plus projects and presentations by more than two dozen non-profits and institutions. Those numbers roughly match last year’s edition of the fair, which was its tenth and largest yet.

“Building on a strong foundation, Frieze has collaborated with Expo Chicago to showcase an elevated experience for visitors and exhibitors alike,” Kristell Chadé, the executive director of Frieze Fairs, said in a statement. “Through its robust international network of galleries and collectors, Frieze is committed to supporting Expo Chicago’s continued success.”

Art fairs

Expo Chicago fair turns ten: dealers say low cost of living and greater freedom to experiment nurtures US city’s art scene

Around 100 exhibitors from last year’s edition are returning, and the fair boasts many important top-tier galleries, although the four global mega-galleries (Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Pace and David Zwirner) are skipping the fair, as they did last year. Among the most high-profile participants are Perrotin (which had participated previously but skipped Expo in 2023), New York’s Kasmin, Los Angeles-based Nino Mier Gallery and the Brazilian gallery Nara Roesler. As ever, the fair boasts a strong contingent of Chicagoan galleries, including the city’s heaviest hitters: Corbett vs. Dempsey, Document, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Mariane Ibrahim (returning after skipping last year) and Monique Meloche.

“The fair contributes greatly to Chicago’s rich cultural community, and its longstanding connection to the city makes it an important convening moment for arts patrons, curators and collectors in the United States,” Tony Karman, Expo Chicago’s director and president, said in a statement.

As usual, the lion’s share of participants will show in a general Galleries sector of the fair, while the Exposure sector curated by the Walker Art Center’s Rosario Güiraldes will feature one- and two-artist stands from galleries founded in the past 10 years, and the Profile sector will host solo and thematic stands from international galleries. Notable Exposure exhibitors will include New York’s 56 Henry, London- and Addis Ababa-based Addis Fine Art, Cuba’s El Apartamento (which is returning after skipping the fair in 2023) and Kyiv- and Miami-based Voloshyn Gallery. Exhibitors in the Profile sector will include New York’s Thierry Goldberg Gallery and Kravets Wehby Gallery, Shulamit Nazarian from Los Angeles, Spinello Projects from Miami and others.

Art market

With strong showing by Latin American artists and galleries, Expo Chicago expands the definition of a regional fair

Though not quite as ubiquitous as in recent editions, galleries from Latin America will have a significant presence at Expo Chicago this year. Notable exhibitors from points south of the Mexico-US border will include Colombia’s La Cometa and SGR Galería, Mexico’s Curra and Labor and Brazil’s Verve. Institutions, non-profits and artist-run spaces participating in the fair’s special exhibitions sector will include many regional forces, such as the Chicago Artists Coalition, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts and Cleveland’s Front International, which organises that city’s triennial.

This year a total of $100,000 in prizes will be given out to fund acquisitions of works from Expo Chicago, which will then go to museums, hotels and a local outlet mall.

Frieze announced its acquisition of Expo Chicago and New York’s longtime fair, The Armory Show, under undisclosed terms last summer.

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