Expo Chicago Reveals Its Inaugural Exhibitor List, Hoping to Prove the Windy City Can Draw the Best Once More

Expo Chicago Reveals Its Inaugural Exhibitor List, Hoping to Prove the Windy City Can Draw the Best Once More
Chicago's Navy Pier, site of Expo Chicago
(Jason Mrachina via Flickr)

When Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. unceremoniously canceled the 30-year-old fair Art Chicago in February, the company seemed to be sending a message. “The majority of the art fair market in the United States has gravitated toward the coasts,” it said in a statement. But someone forgot to tell Tony Karman. The former director of Art Chicago left MMPI in 2010 to begin his own event, Expo Chicago, which runs September 20 to 23. Today, ARTINFO got an early peek at the exhibitor list for the Windy City's newest fair.

“Our institutions are collecting, our collectors are active and vocal, and the city is having a moment where we can show people what is happening here,” Karman said in an interview. The exhibitor list is a mix of blue-chip secondary market dealers (like James Goodman Gallery and Alexander Bonin of New York) and emerging powerhouses (Los Angeles’s Cherry and Martin, Chicago’s Kavi Gupta Gallery, New York’s Leo Koenig) with a healthy mix of design thrown in. Most pointedly, more major contemporary galleries from ourside Chicago have signed on for Expo than have participated in a fair there in years. Some, like Luhring Augustine, are exhibiting in the Second City for the first time in two decades. 

“Many dealers who had done a Chicago fair for years in the 1990s and early 2000s realized that a fair in Chicago can still touch on a Midwest and international collector base,” said Karman. “A blended contemporary and modern fair in Chicago has always been the magic formula in our city.”

The most marked difference between Expo Chicago and its predecessor is location: Rather than fill the Merchandise Mart, Karman’s fair will take place at Art Chicago’s former Navy Pier home. At 100 booths, Expo will also be a fraction of the size of Art Chicago, which by the end of its run had ballooned to over 400 exhibitors. Local names like Rhona Hoffman and Richard Gray, who had defected from Art Chicago in previous years, have thrown their support behind this new homegrown fair. 

Asked how Expo Chicago expects to stay afloat in an increasingly crowded sea of art fairs, Karman emphasized local support. A number of Chicago collectors are investors in the fair, he noted. “There is a concerted effort from all of our institutional leaders, our mayor, and our top collectors to make sure the art world visits our city to see what is happening here.” Indeed, two years ago, mayor Rahm Emanuel seemed to presage the arrival of the new fair before it was even announced, when he said in an interview with Time Out Chicago (speaking of Art Chicago and Art Basel Miami Beach respectively) that "we should restore the Chicago Art Expo’s rightful place next to the Basel Expo in Miami."

Below, we offer the full list of exhibitors who will show at Expo Chicago 2012:

1301PE  Los Angeles
Alexander and Bonin  New York
Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe  New York
Gallery Paule Anglim  San Francisco
John Berggruen Gallery  San Francisco
Galleri Bo Bjerggaard  Copenhagen
Daniel Blau  Munich
Russell Bowman Art Advisory  Chicago
Galerie Buchholz  Cologne
Valerie Carberry Gallery  Chicago
Cardi Black Box  Milan
Cernuda Arte  Coral Gables
Chambers Fine Art  New York, Beijing
Cherry and Martin  Los Angeles
James Cohan Gallery  New York, Shanghai
Corbett vs. Dempsey  Chicago
CRG Gallery  New York
D'Amelio Gallery  New York
Stephen Daiter Gallery  Chicago
Maxwell Davidson Gallery  New York
Douglas Dawson Gallery  Chicago
Catherine Edelman Gallery  Chicago
Galería Max Estrella Madrid
Fleisher/Ollman  Philadelphia
Galerie Forsblom  Helsinki
Forum Gallery  New York
Marc Foxx  Los Angeles
Fredericks & Freiser  New York
Barry Friedman, Ltd.  New York
Friedman Benda  New York
The Suzanne Geiss Company  New York
Gering & López Gallery  New York
Galerie Gmurzynska  Zurich, St. Moritz
James Goodman Gallery  New York
Richard Gray Gallery  Chicago, New York
Galerie Karsten Greve AG  Cologne, Paris, St. Moritz
Kavi Gupta  Chicago, Berlin
Carl Hammer Gallery  Chicago
Haunch of Venison  New York, London
Hill Gallery  Birmingham
Nancy Hoffman Gallery  New York
Rhona Hoffman Gallery  Chicago
Honor Fraser  Los Angeles
Vivian Horan Fine Art  New York
Leonard Hutton Galleries  New York
Bernard Jacobson Gallery  London, New York
Annely Juda Fine Art  London
Paul Kasmin Gallery  New York
James Kelly Contemporary  Santa Fe
Sean Kelly Gallery  New York
Robert Koch Gallery  San Francisco
Michael Kohn Gallery Los Angeles
Leo Koenig, Inc.  New York
Alan Koppel Gallery Chicago
Yvon Lambert  Paris
Landau Fine Art  Montreal
Christian Larsen Stockholm
Galerie Lelong  New York, Paris, Zurich
Locks Gallery  Philadelphia
LOOCK Galerie  Berlin
Diana Lowenstein Gallery Miami
Luhring Augustine  New York
Robert Mann Gallery  New York
Lawrence Markey San Antonio
Matthew Marks Gallery  New York, Los Angeles
Barbara Mathes Gallery  New York
Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie  Paris
Galerie Hans Mayer Düsseldorf
The Mayor Gallery London
McCormick Gallery Chicago
Anthony Meier Fine Arts San Francisco
Nicholas Metivier Gallery Toronto
Mitchell-Innes & Nash New York
Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz Pamplona
Carolina Nitsch New York
David Nolan Gallery New York
Nyehaus  New York
P.P.O.W.  New York
Franklin Parrasch Gallery  New York
Ricco / Maresca Gallery New York
Yancey Richardson Gallery  New York
Roberts & Tilton  Los Angeles
Rosenthal Fine Art  Chicago
Salon 94  New York
Marc Selwyn Fine Art  Los Angeles
William Shearburn Gallery  St. Louis
Manny Silverman Gallery  Los Angeles
Carl Solway Gallery  Cincinnati
Hollis Taggart Galleries  New York
Tandem Press  Madison
Galerie Daniel Templon  Paris
Paul Thiebaud Gallery  San Francisco
Tilton Gallery New York
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects  New York
Van de Weghe  New York
Vincent Vallarino Fine Art New York
Washburn Gallery  New York
Daniel Weinberg Gallery  Los Angeles
Weinstein Gallery  Minneapolis
Max Wigram  London
Stephen Wirtz Gallery  San Francisco
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery  New York
David Zwirner  New York, London