Expo Chicago art fair is postponed until at least July

Image by Kevin Serna, Courtesy of Peres Projects (Berlin) and EXPO CHICAGO

As the second wave of coronavirus continues to restrict private gatherings across much of the United States, one art fair has decided to postpone its upcoming event until 2021.

Chicago art fair has rescheduled its exhibition for 2021. That made Expo Chicago the first art fair of the year to change its dates amid a dramatic rollout of the vaccine in the US and a surge in coronavirus cases worldwide.

The fair, which canceled originally scheduled dates for September 2020 in hopes of a better health climate in the spring, was scheduled to take place at Chicago’s Naval Pier from April 8-11. Now, instead of the IRL exhibition, she plans to conduct a digital experience, and this month a virtual symposium.

Expo Chicago director Tony Karman said the most important thing they can do is track, listen to attendees and collectors, and announce an exact date with enough time to mobilize. In Chicago, the daily positive rate for COVID-19 cases reached 10.3 percent.

Expo Chicago art fair is postponed until at least July
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s “The Ship of Tolerance” at EXPO Chicago 2019. Courtesy of EXPO Chicago

Even though no dates have been confirmed for the next IRL release, Karman says the fair has worked with Navy Pier to provide a series of windows starting in July 2021, including traditional pre-COVID dates, September 23-26.

Despite these setbacks, Karman is optimistic about the long-term prospects of art fairs. Karman says he is very optimistic that as vaccines spread and the pandemic is more effectively controlled, the art world will look to travel. There is no doubt that every fair in the world will benefit from an almost certainly excited audience.

Chicago art fair can attract the attention of art enthusiasts, art lovers, gallery owners, and collectors by showcasing all types of goods and services related to arts and crafts, fine and contemporary art. This exhibition will also showcase the latest technologies that will help improve the arts and craft industries. The International Exhibition of Contemporary Art is expected to become one of the largest gatherings of leading experts in the arts and crafts, collectors, enthusiasts, and art gallery owners.

At the January Symposium, Alternative Assembly: Environmental Impacts in the Pandemic Era, scientists, artists, and curators will discuss how art can cope with the ongoing climate crisis in an era of isolation.

Chicago art fair was last held in September 2019 and was accompanied by the new NADA Chicago Invitational. The dealership did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its latest plans.


Expo Chicago art fair is postponed until at least July

The International Exhibition of Contemporary Art has announced that the ninth exhibition will be held from April 8-11, 2021 at the Naval Pier. The decision to move the fair from the traditional September time slot to this coming spring is the result of a collaborative decision-making process conducted by EXPO CHICAGO with galleries, collectors, institutional partners, and city officials to prioritize human health and safety participating galleries, curators, and visitors traveling to Chicago.

In response to the rapidly changing social and business environment, the Chicago art fair has developed a plan that allows exhibitors to make optional deposits and, as a result, flexible payment schedules for exhibitors.

In addition to expanding programs and initiatives, the Chicago art fair has pledged to make contributions to the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and New Art Dealers Association (NADA) from the proceeds of the exhibition.

According to Tony Karman, art fairs are joint enterprises. Here, organizers and galleries, collectors and host city institutions, residents, and management work together to achieve common goals.

He added that the reschedule would allow exhibitors and partners in Chicago to focus on reopening their galleries, launching upcoming exhibitions, and starting the rebuilding process.  Together they would be able to prepare for this important moment of meeting for the global art community in Chicago next April.

Since its inception, the Chicago art fair has supported local, regional, and international art communities by serving as the premier exhibition for contemporary art.


EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, brings together leading international galleries as well as a platform of the highest quality for contemporary art and culture.

In 2019, EXPO CHICAGO hosted over 135 leading international exhibitors at the Navy Pier’s Festival Hall.

The exposition draws on the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural center, and also attracts the attention of the contemporary art community and collectors in the region.

EXPO CHICAGO art fair is organizing a virtual exhibition during previously scheduled face-to-face meetings from 8-11 April 2021. The personal exhibition in 2021 is postponed, and EXPO CHICAGO has secured a series of dates at Navy Pier starting in July 2021 in preparation for the ninth edition, once it is safe for exhibitors and patrons.

Chicago has proudly hosted a global contemporary art exhibition for about forty years. It has been home to America’s first international art fair. Since its inception, EXPO CHICAGO remains committed to supporting local, regional, and international art communities, with strong regional support throughout the Greater Midwest, on both coasts of the United States, and supporting a growing international commitment from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Outsider Art in Chicago

Expo Chicago art fair is postponed until at least July
Chicago artist Robert Johnson stands in front of two of his window paintings at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago

The genre has always been the focus of attention at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive And Outsider Art. It is a small gallery that was founded in Chicago in 1991. It is one of the few museums in the world dedicated exclusively to outsider art.

An outsider artist exhibiting at Intuit, Robert Johnson is famous among Chicago collectors for his oil paintings on upside-down windows. The images of pistols and bags of white powder are reminiscent of Johnson’s past struggles with addiction.

His new work is full of colorful skulls and sharpening mechanisms inspired by his days as a mechanic in Iraq. Johnson says art is like therapy.

Expo Chicago art fair is postponed until at least July
Rob Johnson_Image 2: Robert Johnson. Treads (detail), 2019. Oil pastel, acrylic, marker, and spray paint on canvas board

Johnson is also ambivalent about being called an outsider artist, but he says that people in the traditional art world have never welcomed him.

Intuit celebrates the power of the art of the outsider and the self-taught. Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum for the outsider and self-taught art, defined as the work of artists who show little influence from the mainstream of the art world and who are instead driven by their unique vision.

The museum’s mission – to celebrate the power of outsider art – is based on the ideal that the instinct to create is universal and art should embrace, represent and be accessible to all, regardless of educational level or socioeconomic status.

Intuit offers world-class exhibitions; permanent collection of 1200 works of art; resources for scholars and students, such as the Robert A. Roth Research Center, a non-proliferating collection primarily focused on the art field of outsiders and self-taught contemporaries; and educational programs for people of any level of interest and background.




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