Artist-centered programs highlight the resilience of artists’ practices and institutional reflection amidst the Covid-19 pandemic
EXPO Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, returns for the first time since 2019, bringing together its global community of artists, curators, designers, and art world leaders. Taking place April 7 - 10, 2022, the fair’s core programs include the “/Dialogues” on-site panel program of art world leaders in conversation, presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC); the “Northern Trust Exchange Stage,” providing interactive daily panel discussions; “IN/SITU,” large-scale sculpture, video, film and site-specific series of works installed within the expansive, vaulted architecture of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall; and an expanded “OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project,” which utilizes citywide digital billboards in the City’s Chicago Digital Network (CDN) to display a curated selection of contemporary artwork throughout the city.
These artist-centered programs highlight the resilience of artists’ practices and institutional reflection amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and aim to spark new creative energy amongst the participants as well as engage the broad range of communities joining the fair from Chicagoland and beyond. See below for a full round up of EXPO CHICAGO’s highly anticipated programming:
Presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), /Dialogues offers panel discussions, conversations, and provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers, and arts professionals on the current issues that engage them. Highlights of this year’s edition of /Dialogues include a historic gathering of founding and key members of AFRICOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist; a panel addressing the rise of NFTs and their new place within the art world; a panel discussing visual practices in poetry with The Poetry Foundation; a fully bilingual conversation with 2022 EXPOSURE curator Humberto Moro and artists from his curated section of the fair; and talks with some of the world’s leading artists, including Derrick Adams, Dawoud Bey, Krista Franklin (SAIC Lecturer), Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Devan Shimoyama, Gio Swaby, and more.
Northern Trust Exchange Stage
“An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting” features exclusive panels on collecting and the art market that are open to VIP patrons.
Highlights of the 2022 program include a conversation between Schwanda Rountree, (Art Collector and Art Advisor), Vesela Sretenović (The Phillips Collection), and Henry Thaggart (Collector and Arts Patron), facilitated by artist Ada Pinkston on collecting with conscience and a panel featuring Sandy Lee (Financial Analyst CAIA, CFP; Treasurer, Joan Mitchell Foundation) and Lesley Silverman (UTA), facilitated by Erika R. Knierim (Nomic Consulting) on the future of collecting NFTs, both presented in partnership with Art World Learning; a conversation moderated by Victoria Burns (APAA) with leading voices that address women artists and the market; a conversation and book signing with Charles Moore on the occasion of the recent publication of his book “The Brilliance of the Color Black”; and a panel on the next era of arts funding featuring Christopher J. Alfieri (Prospect New Orleans; Christovich & Kearney, LLP), Whitney Hardy (3RDSPACE, Hardy Beverages), and Abby Pucker (Gertie), moderated by Melissa Cowley Wolf (MCW Projects, Arts Funders Forum) in collaboration with Arts Funders Forum.
As part of its inaugural Directors Summit, EXPO CHICAGO will present a keynote lecture by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, the newly appointed Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Serving as a culmination of the Directors Summit program, the lecture will highlight Dr. Jackson’s 25-year body of work on understanding and elevating arts, culture and design as critical elements of healthy communities. Her work blends social science, arts and humanities-based approaches to comprehensive community development, systems change, program and policy evaluation and applied research.
In addition, EXPO CHICAGO’s annual Curatorial Forum will feature a keynote by Koyo Kouoh, Chief Curator and Executive Director of Zeitz MOCAA, highlighting her previous work in founding RAW Material Company in Dakar in 2008 as an institution dedicated to art, knowledge and society. A center for critical education, an art exhibition space and home to a creative residency program, it supports the work of African and international artists and curators in all contemporary art media.
Installed throughout Festival Hall and the city of Chicago, IN/SITU features large-scale sculpture, video, film, and site-specific works. For the 2022 IN/SITU program, Marcella Beccaria, Chief Curator and Curator of Collections at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Italy, curated “Rare Earths,” an exhibition of major works including new site-specific pieces by artists from leading international exhibitors participating in this year’s exposition. Coming from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds, these artists present works in a variety of media—including sculpture, installation, performance, virtual reality and more.
The selection of work for this year’s edition includes pieces by Raphaël Barontini, Guglielmo Castelli, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Liz Larner, Bertina Lopes, Cildo Meireles, John Preus, Nancy Rubins, Edra Soto, Stan VanDerBeek and Sarah Zapata. The 2022 edition of IN/SITU is the first to feature a section dedicated to digital works, featuring artists aaajiao and Keiken + George Jasper Stone in collaboration with Daata. The indoor IN/SITU programming is complemented by an outdoor installation located throughout Chicago parks as part of IN/SITU OUTSIDE, featuring two works by Nancy Rubins from her “Diversifolia” series.
OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project
In keeping with Chicago’s legacy of championing public art, EXPO CHICAGO will present major initiatives created in collaboration with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Park District, and Navy Pier to highlight work by internationally recognized artists beyond Navy Pier.
OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project is a citywide collaborative public art initiative between EXPO and DCASE in collaboration with the Chicago Digital Network to exhibit artwork on all CDN billboards and, for the first time, City Information Panels "CIPs" in the Central Business District from April 4-17. Participants include both 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 artists to intercept and push the boundaries of how visual culture is disseminated in our increasingly image-based environment.
Featured artists in the 2022 edition of OVERRIDE include Barnaby Barford, Sanford Biggers, Brandon Breaux, Jasmine Clarke, Laura Kina, Caroline Liu, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Leonard Suryajaya, Gerald Williams and Karl Wirsum.
For additional information and a full list of programming, exhibitors and more on the ninth edition of EXPO CHICAGO, please visit expochicago.com.