And we’re back. After a modest summer break, the American art market reconvened this week in Chicago for the third edition of the Expo Chicago fair. Some 140 dealers are here from around the world, a diverse list that includes heavyweights like Lisson, David Zwirner, and Matthew Marks alongside secondary market specialists of various stripes and young dealers, like Hannah Hoffman (from Los Angeles), Brand New (Milan), and Blackston (New York).
The room was quiet when the doors opened today at noon, but by late in the afternoon the aisles were humming with art types and the odd celebrity. There was Shaquille O’Neal, in a mossy green blazer, doing a victory lap for the show he curated at the Flag Art Foundation’s booth—”Shaq Loves People,” it’s called—and, over there, George Lucas, who’s planning a Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago. Alice Walton, alas, showed up last night, strolling through the fair before even today’s VIPs could have their look.
Fair three, the theory goes, is the make or break one. Some of the glamour of the first two editions has waned, and it’s time to get down to business. Will Expo be a success? Everyone’s optimistic, but it is, of course, too soon to say. No one seems to have come with eight-figure works, but plenty did show up with works safely in six figures.
There are some very strong booths, like Michael Rosenfeld’s, which he’s stocked with Bob Thompson, Nancy Grossman, and Alfred Jensen, among other underrated figures—and Matthew Marks’s, which sports a Michel Majerus text painting (“LESS”), a white Anne Truitt monochrome, and a Robert Gober.
Below, a quick look at highlights from the fair.