22-25 SEPTEMBER 2016


2015 Special Exhibitions

The Special Exhibitions program features select regional, national, and international non-profit institutions, museums, and organizations to be included on the main floor of the exposition. EXPO CHICAGO’s Special Exhibitions offer unique, high-quality installations, joining 140 leading galleries from around the world featured throughout Navy Pier’s iconic Festival Hall. Complementing the surrounding elements of the fair, this program illustrates and preserves the important relationship between contemporary and modern art and non-profit organizations. 


2015 Participants


6018North, a Chicago non-profit, creates a multi-level space within EXPO CHICAGO presenting both “Shotgun” by Los Angeles-based architects First Office (Andrew Atwood and Anna Neimark) and “Chapel,” by Chicago-based Mexican artist Rodrigo Lara Zendejas. On the lower level of the exhibition, “Shotgun” is a deceptive space of two connected doors—mimicking the movement of EXPO CHICAGO attendees. The two doors open and close to create four “galleries” of perpetual motion. The scheme, originally designed in 1927 by Marcel Duchamp, has been redesigned by First Office, fitting the standard elements of Shotgun House construction. On the higher level of the exhibition, “Chapel” confounds Lara Zendejas’s grandparents’ small personal chapel in their home in Mexico with the rise of private art collections and personal, contemporary temples of secularism. As a nod to this shift, Zendejas’s chapel is filled with statues of artists, rather than his grandparents’ statues of saints. In addition, adjacent to “Chapel,” Chicago artist Kathleen McCarthy creates the experience of an antechamber—modeled after the space created to admit those not eligible into church to partake in the service—where a series of performances will occur. A full schedule of performances will be announced.


Matt Lipps (b. 1975) Photojournalism, 2013. C-Print. 75 3/4 x 50 in.

Aperture Foundation

For EXPO CHICAGO/2015, the Aperture Foundation has worked with curator and author of “Photography is Magic,” Charlotte Cotton to commission works by ten leading new talents using photographic materials and ideas. These ten new works, which take their cues from the thesis of “Photography is Magic,” survey photographic practices that directly respond to our contemporary image-based world with magical sleights of hand. Works will be on display by artists including Matthew Porter, Hannah Whittaker, Letha Wilson and Kate Steciw—who will join John Houck, Matt Lipps and Phillip Maisel in conversation with Cotton as part of the /Dialogues program on Saturday, September 19.


Artadia: The Fund for Art & Dialogue is a national non-profit organization that supports visual artists with unrestricted, merit-based awards and fosters connections to a network of opportunities. Artadia is pleased to partner with EXPO CHICAGO to announce the 2015 Chicago Artadia Awardees who will each receive between $5,000 and $20,000 in unrestricted funds. Artadia will present a booth of recent work by the Awardees at EXPO CHICAGO. The Awardees, who will be announced on September 16, will be selected by leading curators including Naomi Beckwith (Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), Dominic Molon (Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum) and Ruth Estevez (Gallery Director and Curator, REDCAT).

ArtReview Live

ArtReview Live provides both a dynamic platform for artists to present original projects and engage the public, as well as a place for discussion and discourse around current issues in the contemporary art world. Originally developed as after-work events in the “ArtReview” bar, “ArtReview” Live events have grown beyond their local reach by partnering with fairs around the world. Developed as an extension of “ArtReview”’s own editorial line, the 2015 project expands on its commitment to the art scene in South East Asia, featuring a selection of Singaporean artists to align with recent issues of “ArtReview Asia.” Following the 2014 installation of “dienstag abend,” a Vienna-based artist collective, this project is the second collaboration between EXPO CHICAGO and “ArtReview.”


Bad at Sports, 2015. Image courtesy of Duncan MacKenzie.

Bad at Sports

Founded in 2005 by Richard Holland, Duncan MacKenzie and Amanda Browder, September 2015 marks the ten-year anniversary of Bad at Sports. Collaborating with more than 700 artists and “art world-ers” over the last decade, its impact has changed various elements of the Midwest’s art world, and defined the experience of a generation of artists. Celebrating that contribution with artist Claire Ashley, Bad at Sports has produced a delicious installation featuring an artist-designed cake, which visiting patrons can be photographed popping out of. Bad at Sports will also populate their booth with contemporary art’s best and brightest artists and will seek out engaging and dynamic conversations as they broadcast live from their booth. A full schedule of talks will be announced.

Central Academy of Fine Arts

The thirty-year history of the contemporary Chinese art market is not only a spectacle about art, but is becoming a spectacle itself—derived from individuals and the increased emergence of group exhibition and gallery mechanisms, which are eventually absorbed into the model of a global supermarket. Curated by the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, the core strategy of this Special Exhibition takes the form of two supermarkets recreated on-site: one showing the fragments of image, information and electronic media regarding the artworks, artists and art institutions available; the other representing the storage of major original artworks, both sharing the same spatial structure. Within this interactive installation, viewers are invited to enter, stroll, select works, scan the barcode and issue payment in the first supermarket—when it matches the hyperlink, audiences would find themselves suddenly in the original artwork warehouse. The virtual experience of this installation is infinitely close to the reality of the surrounding environment and its context. Confounding these two principles—the art market and global supermarket—this installation is not a demonstration of art, but rather indicative of the consumption in process through the artworks on view.

Chicago Artists Coalition

Chicago Artists Coalition’s (CAC) BOLT Residency is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio program offering emerging artists the opportunity to engage the Chicago arts community and public through solo exhibitions and critical dialogue. The CAC’s 2015 booth at EXPO CHICAGO presents BOLT Artist Resident & Mentor Marissa Lee Benedict. Benedict creates a video and sculptural installation that poses questions about scale and connectivity, from micro-interactions to infinite expansiveness, which impacts climate and information communication. From laying fictional fiber optic cable, to collecting core samples in the California desert, Benedict's sculpture and video installations trace the outlines of material systems and movements in our rapidly accelerating and transmuting global landscape. The booth is curated by Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago Curator Jacob Proctor. In addition to exhibiting her own work, Benedict will be hosting programming and screenings by other Chicago-based artists throughout the EXPO ART WEEK.

Columbia College Chicago

ShopColumbia, Columbia College Chicago's student and alumni art boutique, features original designs created and inspired by student artists. Spanning all media and disciplines, ShopColumbia is defined by what Columbia artists are making right now and for the past seven years, has become an incubator for artists to launch their careers and expand into the local Chicago, regional and national art, literary, music and fashion scenes. Expanding on the learning laboratory model for the 2015 Special Exhibitions booth, ShopColumbia has invited distinguished Columbia College Chicago faculty to recommend emerging Columbia College Chicago student and alumni artists to be on display. A diverse selection of photography, painting, illustration, printmaking, paper-arts and interdisciplinary artists will be featured.

The Conservation Center

The Conservation Center is once again proud to be the official art conservation and custom-framing provider for EXPO CHICAGO. In addition to maintaining their sponsorship of the annual exposition, the Center’s Special Exhibition showcases completed projects of various art conservation disciplines—ranging from paintings, to antique furniture, works on paper, and more. Acting as an educational resource for EXPO CHICAGO guests, viewers can learn about approaches to preserving the integrity of artworks—from method and application, to science and techniques.

DePaul Art Museum

The DePaul Art Museum (DPAM) extends the DePaul University’s commitment to excellence, diversity and social concerns through innovative exhibitions, programs and events that analyze the variety and depth of artistic expression. Presenting a satellite exhibition of “Idol Structures” by Chicago-based artist Matt Siber, concurrently on view at the museum, the photographs and sculptures on display probe the systems of corporate, mass-media communication that permeate the urban landscape. Siber emphasizes the physical infrastructure that delivers visual messaging—such as billboards and roadside marquees—to reveal a component meant to stay subservient to image, text and graphics.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to defending and promoting human rights around the world. Its rigorous investigations and strategic advocacy expose human rights abuses and lay the necessary groundwork to create meaningful, lasting change. HRW returns to EXPO CHICAGO for a third year to present six photographs by world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado. The work included highlights selections from his series “Workers” (1993) and “Migrations” (2000), chronicling the struggles of human beings as they endure incredible injustice around the globe.

Hyde Park Art Center

Developed by Hyde Park Art Center, The Center Program is dedicated to building critical dialogue for artists seeking to advance their practice. Now in its fourth year, the program addresses the need of critical exchange by offering working artists a unique combination of access to materials and space to develop a rigorous studio practice outside of a university setting. The work is selected by co-founder of Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery Jim Dempsey; curator and guest critic for The Center Program, The Art Center Director of Education, Executive Director of Chicago Art Department and artist Mike Nourse; and The Art Center Curator and Director of Exhibition & Residency Programs Allison Peters Quinn.

Independent Curators International (ICI)

Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. Established in 1975 and headquartered in New York, ICI has commissioned artists since 1990 to produce limited edition works. Artists include; John Baldessari, Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson, Stephen J. Kaltenbach, Jacob Kassay, Joseph Kosuth, Laurie Simmons, Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, Ernesto Neto, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Marina Abramović and most recently, Chicago based artist Robert Burnier. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, ICI will showcase a selection of limited edition works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Rauschenberg, Marina Abramović and Liz Glynn among others, and will feature Jessica Stockholder, a pioneer of multimedia genre-bending installations, as a special artist for the 2015 program.

International Sculpture Center

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) is a member-supported, nonprofit organization. Founded in 1960 to champion the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society, the ISC seeks to expand the public understanding and appreciation of sculpture internationally. The ISC achieves its mission by a series of educational programs that includes publications such as “Sculpture” magazine and isc Press; conferences and symposiums; and the Student Awards program. For EXPO CHICAGO, ISC will feature work by prominent and emerging artists including Bernar Venet, Jaume Plensa, Kiki Smith, Jun Kaneko, Richard Dupont, Mark di Suvero, Chakaia Booker and Sanford Biggers, among others.

LOCAL Arte Contemporáneo

For the 2015 edition of EXPO CHICAGO, LOCAL Arte Contemporáneo (Chile) invites Carlos Costa to lead the Special Exhibitions booth. Influenced by Chicago’s nickname of “The Windy City,” the main and central element to the installation is structured around several ephemeral situations that are “staged” to produce a never static experience of wind. A series of fans are structured in multiple situations, including little whirlwinds moving dust on corners of the stand, a plastic bag being moved over the surface of the booth, and Costa flying a kite, among other experiences. Costa’s work is principally related to the practice of art in the context of public space, investigating themes such as surveillance, habitability in the contemporary city and the questioning of reality in a way that is deeply related to society and politics.


Nevet Yitzhak, Orient Express. 8-channel video installation with sound. Installation view, Museum for Islamic Arts, Jerusalem. Courtesy of the artist.

MOCA Cleveland

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland is a leading force in the cultural life of Northeast Ohio, and is recognized nationally and internationally for its critical exhibitions and public programs. Presenting a commissioned film work by Israeli artist Nevet Yitzhak, which will also be on view at MOCA from September 17, 2015–January 10, 2016, the Tel Aviv-based artist creates immersive video installations, often based on found imagery, artifacts and reconstructed archival materials. After traveling to Cleveland in May 2015 to view objects held in local collections, she began her research-intensive process in developing a new work connected to the city’s unique cultural heritage and political unrest. Yitzhak’s work challenges perceptions of the past and raises questions about history, conflict and collective memory.

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental organization with more than two million members and online activists. Since 1970, NRDC’s lawyers, scientists and advocates have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health and environment. To bolster its science, litigation and advocacy expertise, NRDC engages in a variety of interdisciplinary partnerships with artists, architects and designers—collaborations that are integral to engaging the public and raising awareness of the environmental issues facing our communities. Renewing its partnership with EXPO CHICAGO for the fourth year, NRDC will present the work of Antonin Fourneau entitled Water Light Graffiti. Past NRDC Special Exhibitions include Gordon Matta-Clark and Maya Lin (2012), Vaughn Bell (2013), and artist-in-residence Jenny Kendler (2014).

Water Works invites a select group of contemporary artists – Doug Fogelson, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary, Aspen Mays, Linda Tegg, and Alex Wieder – to create ephemeral interventions using water as their only resource. The series revolves around Water Light Graffiti, a digital surface that illuminates when touched by water. Created by Paris-based artist Antonin Fourneau, Water Light Graffiti merges the immediacy of street-art with the sophistication of digital technology and the movement of the cinematic screen. Curated by Giovanni Aloi and Elizabeth Corr, this special series is sponsored by the Water Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization committed to raising awareness about the environment through robust interdisciplinary partnerships. The series is free with admission to EXPO CHICAGO and will take place in booth #104. For a full schedule of events, please click here.


Nora Schultz, Metal Mind Model Magazine Parrot Perfomance #6 (open detail), 2014.

The Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society is committed to supporting ambitious artistic experimentation— primarily through the commissioning of new works—and to fostering a rigorous and interdisciplinary discourse around it. For EXPO CHICAGO, the Renaissance Society presents a limited edition series by Berlin-based artist Nora Schultz, created on the final day of her solo exhibition in February 2014. In “Metal Mind Model Magazine Parrot,” materials from her site-specific installation were installed into an orchestration of improvised printmaking that spanned almost the entirety of the gallery. Photographs of the process were taken, printed and reincorporated into the flurry of activity, all of which was eventually stapled into eleven objects Schultz refers to as “magazines.” Six unique framed works, along with a performance video of the artist creating the work will be on view.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leading institution in educating artists, designers and scholars since 1866. On the occasion of the School's 150th anniversary celebration, artist and alumnus Kori Newkirk (BFA 1993) has selected a broad range of works that reflect some of the diverse conversations that occur in the interdisciplinary environment of SAIC. The Special Exhibition will feature artists from the 2015 and 2016 MFA classes spanning SAIC's Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Photography, Performance and Film, Video, New Media and Animation departments, among others. Located in downtown Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. Past Special Exhibitions curators include José Lerma (Artist and Assistant Professor Painting and Drawing Department, EXPO CHICAGO/2014) and Amanda Ross-Ho (SAIC Alumna, BFA 1998EXPO CHICAGO/2013).


Lucas Briffa, Open Folder (Nazis), 2014, archival inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.


Founded in 2003, Threewalls is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing Chicago’s cultural capital by cultivating contemporary art practice and discourse. Threewalls will feature the first collaborative project between Scottish-born, Chicago-based artist Fraser Taylor and Singapore-born, Chicago-based artist Jovencio de la Paz. A selection of drawings, monoprints and textiles by Taylor will be exhibited alongside Batik-indigo dyed works by de la Paz. Taylor and de la Paz have a deep working relationship, first as teacher-and-student, and later as close confidants and advisors to one another.

Also on view are small-scale artworks by 5 artists included in the 2015 Community Supported Art, Chicago, edition series: The Tabletop Collection. This collection features work by artists Laura Davis, Julia Klein, Assaf Evron, Steve Reber and recently named Guggenheim-fellow Sabina Ott (Hyde Park Art Center’s Resident Artist).

Union League Club of Chicago

Founded in 1879, the Union League Club of Chicago is a private club that has contributed to the cultural growth and development of the city throughout the years, while supporting our nation’s military and their families. For nearly 130 years, the Club has built a museum-quality collection of American art and as one of Chicago’s oldest private art collections, the Club is proud to present a selection of works by female artists who have shaped art in Chicago for more than fifty years for EXPO CHICAGO 2015. Aiming to reconsider the traditional male canon of art, each artist—from the idiosyncratic surrealism of Gertrude Abercrombie to the abstraction of Eve Garrison, and the mixture of abstraction and figuration in the work of Michiko Itatani to the playful cartoony figures of Hairy Who artist Gladys Nilsson among others—has developed a unique aesthetic that offers new perspectives toward a more expansive view of art in Chicago.

VMU Gallery 101 / Art Fund

VMU Gallery 101 / Art Fund returns to EXPO CHICAGO to present two exhibitions of work. Curated by Rimas Ciurlionis, the first includes textural oil paintings by Lithuanian artists Henrikas Cerapas and his own, as well as the unique textile works of Laima Oržekauskiene. In addition, a video installation of artists from the conflict zone in Ukraine, curated by Ciurlionis and coordinated by photographer Alex Zakletsky, presents the work of Bella Logachova, Andriy Yermolenko and Ivan Semesyuk.

The University of Chicago Headquarters 3.0

The University of Chicago Headquarters 3.0 fronts Logan Center Exhibitions and the Department of Visual Arts—organizations that work in tandem to advance an inquisitive spirit and critical approach to art making, being and living in its students and communities. The Headquarters signals a spirit of collaboration, which is integral to the evolution of both programs as well as the role of the arts at the University, helping to shape Chicago's greater contemporary art landscape. At EXPO CHICAGO, the University of Chicago Headquarters 3.0 will showcase the work of recent Master of Fine Arts alumni. Curated by Department of Visual Arts' academic faculty and lecturer William Pope.L and Zachary Cahill, the artists will respond to a series of curatorial prompts, challenging and intriguing visitors through object creation and performance. Artists include dado, Jinn Bronwen Lee, Tucker Rae-Grant, Nick Raffel, Sophia Rhee, Ramyar Vala, and Danny Volk

Peter Halley, Zone, 1992. Silkscreen print on paper. Edition of 125.

Whitechapel Gallery

Playing a central role in London’s cultural landscape, and a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, Whitechapel Gallery has developed an exceptional portfolio of limited editions and artworks as part of its fundraising initiative to help support the galleries’ educational programming. Leading artists including Georg Baselitz, Theaster Gates, Peter Halley, Rachel Harrison, Linder and Isa Genzken have made beautiful but affordable artworks exclusively for the Whitechapel Gallery that will be on view at EXPO CHICAGO.



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