On Thursday, at the preview of Expo Chicago, a gallerist was overheard crying, with champagne in hand: “I hate art fairs! They are so boring.” Then, learning that he was in the presence of journalists, quickly corrected himself, expunged his record, and left the scene.
Whether or not a sense of boredom settled into the grand hall at Navy Pier—host this weekend to more than 135 exhibitors—is an open question. Although many galleries reported presales (an increasingly common though controversial practice), attendance was robust, with well-heeled collectors, curators, museum directors, and artists among the Boxed Water–slinging crowd. By the measure of overall sales, this eighth edition of the international art fair kept most dealers occupied and on their feet, with several booths selling out by the end of preview day.