EXPO Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, features leading international galleries alongside the highest quality platform for contemporary art and culture. AKA, that’s one of the coolest art fairs you’ll ever see in Chicago, if not in the US. If that’s not enough to get you going, this year is also EXPO’s 10th anniversary, meaning the programming will be more diverse, comprehensive, and though-provoking than ever.
While the actual fair runs from April 13th thru April 16th at Navy Pier, EXPO Art Week kickstart on April 10th and spans across Chicagoland, providing a prestige platform for galleries, artists, and cultural organizations in and around Chicago to showcase their latest projects. Therefore, EXPO Chicago is so much more than just another art fair. Rather, it is the nurturing bed for many future collaborations as artists, galleries, educators, curators, and media personnel leverage the programming to network and build connections.
“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 that showcase Chicago as a leading international city for artistic talent, innovation, and rich cultural dialogue,” said Tony Karman, President | Director, EXPO CHICAGO. “This year’s EXPO ART WEEK alignments feature content which extends far beyond EXPO CHICAGO at Navy Pier to highlight the extraordinary cultural institutions and creative hubs throughout our great city.”
Tickets to EXPO Chicago and the opening night are now on-sale at their website. Note that EXPO Art Week participants may require separate RSVP or ticket purchasing via their event page. Therefore, make sure you check out the programming page and each participant’s website if there is an off-site event you want to go!
EXPO CHICAGO 2023 will welcome 170 leading international galleries representing 36 countries and 90 cities from around the world. Countries represented at the 2023 exposition include Argentina, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe.
The exhibitors are further categorized into the following:
- Galleries: leading international exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture.
- Profile: solo booths and focused projects by established international galleries showcasing ambitious installations and tightly focused thematic exhibitions.
- Editions + Books: showcases a cross-section of established and emerging artists from limited editions to publications, offering a diverse array of print media and object-based practices that span across photography, sculpture, monographs, and other multiples.Exposure: installed on the main floor of the exposition, Exposure features solo and two-artist presentations represented by galleries ten years and younger.
- Special Exhibitions: features curatorial projects by select regional, national, and international non-profit institutions, museums, and organizations, complementing the surrounding elements of the fair.
Click here to read Urban Matter’s exhibitors to watch list!
Presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), /Dialogues brings together leading curators, artists, designers, and arts professionals for a series of panel discussions, forums, and artistic discourse on topics of the moment, including institution building and public art.
If you enjoy listening to industry thought leaders brainstorm and explore new ideas of making art more engaging and provocative, you will certainly enjoy the /Dialogues segments. Meanwhile, if you are an artist curious about the curatorial process or what fuels your fellow artists’ creations, you should also check out /Dialogues programming.
Real-time captioning will be available for all programming on the /Dialogues and Exchange stages throughout EXPO CHICAGO, accessible via QR code and made viewable via StreamText on any tablet or smartphone. To request ASL interpreter services for any /Dialogues panel, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by March 27.
IN/SITU & IN/SITU Outside
Installed within the expansive, vaulted architecture of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, IN/SITU features large-scale sculpture, video, film and site-specific works. For the 2023 program, Claudia Segura, Curator of Exhibitions and Collection at MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, will curate a selection of new and existing works featuring artists from leading international exhibitors participating in the exposition.
Meanwhile, engaging the city’s long legacy of pioneering public art, IN/SITU Outside provides the opportunity to present temporary public art installations along the lakefront and throughout Chicago neighborhoods. 2023 installations include This is where I am, presented by Public Art Fund; The Garden, from the renowned Floating Museum, and more.
Override | A Billboard Project
This citywide collaborative public art initiative between EXPO CHICAGO and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in collaboration with the Chicago Digital Network, will showcase emerging and established artists from Chicago and around the world.
Placing artwork within this public context and the broader presentation of billboard advertising, OVERRIDE takes its name from industry terminology, referring to the continuation of an outdoor advertising program beyond a contracted period. Fully integrated into the language of advertising and local familiar signage, each of the works included within the OVERRIDE program present the opportunity for local and international artists to intercept and push the boundaries of how visual culture is disseminated in our increasingly image-based environment.
The Curatorial Initiatives include an expanded, year-round Curatorial Forum program alongside its annual Curatorial Exchange, which together will gather curators from nine countries to discuss shared perspectives, goals and challenges facing the field. The exposition’s robust Curatorial Initiatives support its larger mission to foster the critical creative dialogues taking place in the Midwest and internationally today.
The exposition is one of the only art fairs in the United States with dedicated platforms which aim to foster future collaboration and dialogue among local, national and international curators of contemporary art and architecture. Therefore, if you are a curator or an artist working in new media or nontraditional projects, make sure to come to the curatorial forum and find like-minded individuals for future collaborations.
Special Projects are presented inside Festival Hall and around Navy Pier, featuring a curated selection of projects organized by EXPO CHICAGO. Resonating with Chicago’s profound history of multiculturalism and the city’s pioneering position in human rights and equity, this year’s special projects look into the past, the current, and the future via ritualistic symbols, personal experiences, and what’s happening around us in the world. Highlighting the autonomy and freedom of human experiences in a world becoming increasingly controlled, moderated, and predictable, these special projects encourages the audience to rediscover and reconnect with themselves, their history, and their identities.
The second iteration of the Directors Summit will bring together a diverse group of emerging art museum leaders from across the United States for a three-day series of conversations on the future of museum leadership and institutional reinvention.
Shaped in partnership with museum consultant Jill Snyder, the Directors Summit centers on two public roundtable discussions on the /Dialogues stage at EXPO CHICAGO that will examine how to forge equitable and sustainable movement forward for art museums and institutions, as well as a keynote lecture by Paul R. Provost, founding CEO of Art Bridges Foundation. The Directors Summit will take place from April 13—15, 2023.
Art Week Programs
EXPO Art week is another reason why EXPO Chicago is considered one of the most comprehensive art expositions in the world. Running from April 10th through April 16th, a diverse alignment featuring vibrantly different subjects, media, and formats will turn Chicagoland into the ultimate art party. Explore the featured alignment or browse the full program by neighborhoods and build your personal art week itinerary! This year, EXPO will also highlight the aspiring art community in the South Side with various south side openings and events.
Featured image was from the 2022 EXPO. Courtesy of EXPO Chicago