EXPO CHICAGO 2016: Special Exhibitions

Aug 29, 2016 10:16PM

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. 

Aperture Foundation

Aperture, a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community, connects to its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas and with each other—in print, in person and online. At EXPO CHICAGO, Aperture will feature a selection of new limited-edition prints and front list titles by artists including Mickalene Thomas, Gregory Crewdson, Paolo Ventura, Joel Meyerowitz, Richard Renaldi, Robert Cumming and Phyllis Galembo, among others. 

Mickalene Thomas, Le déjeuner sur l’herbe: les trois femmes noires, (2010)

Art+Culture Projects

Art+Culture Projects is a new initiative designed to strengthen museums, non-profits and leading cultural institutions across the country by creating a sustainable funding stream through the sale of limited edition prints and multiples. At EXPO CHICAGO, Art+Culture Projects will present new, limited edition artwork by Sarah Cain, Anna Sew Hoy, Betty Tompkins, Monica Majoli, Ruby Sky Stiler, Tony Tasset and Yinka Shonibare, among others. Proceeds from the sale of these works will benefit Art+Culture cultural partners including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Artadia and more to be announced.


Supporting visual artists with unrestricted, merit-based awards while fostering connections to a network of opportunities, Artadia will exhibit paintings by 2004 Chicago Artadia Awardee Phyllis Bramson at EXPO CHICAGO 2016. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art for the Menil Collection, Houston, TX, Toby Kamps selected Bramson’s work from a pool of Chicago-based Artadia Awardees. Kamps notes “the dreamlike worlds and gemlike colors of Mughal miniatures, Japanese shunga, French rococo painters and American outsiders like Henry Darger are some of the inspirations for Bramson’s new paintings. Like her Chicago Imagist peers, Bramson conjures up delightfully deranged and exuberant amalgams of figuration and decoration that vibrate with spectacular and sexy new energies.” Recent exhibitions of Bramson’s work include Phyllis Bramson: In Praise of Folly – A Retrospective, 1985–2015 at Rockford Art Museum and Under the Pleasure Dome at Chicago Cultural Center.

Casa Maauad

Casa Maauad, a non-profit, production-based residency program in Mexico City, was founded in 2010 by artist Anuar Maauad to foster relationships between international artists and the local art scene. New editions of the 2016 subscription will be on view at EXPO CHICAGO including works by Dmitri Obergfell, Daniel Sinsel, Theo Mercier, Edgar Orlaineta and Jose Dávila. Additionally, Commitment, the 2016 Portfolio, includes eleven flat works ranging from photo, drawing, silkscree­­n, embroidery and CNC cut steel—comprised of primarily emerging artists living/working in Mexico City.

Theo Mercier, Untitled, (2016). Ceramic and egg. Edition of 100. 

Chicago Artists Coalition

The Chicago Artists Coalition’s (CAC) BOLT Residency is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio program. For EXPO CHICAGO, works by BOLT Resident Leonard Suryajaya will be on view, selected by Curator at the Logan Center for the Arts Yesomi Umolu. Suryajaya’s photographs, installation and video render the role of women in his home country of Indonesia. Faced with humor, peculiarity, persistence and elements of banality, viewers are invited to deconstruct rigid representations of womanhood in society at large. 

The Conservation Center 

The Conservation Center will once again serve as the official art conservation and custom-framing provider for EXPO CHICAGO. In addition to maintaining their sponsorship of the annual fair, the Center will showcase 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

Extending DePaul University’s mission through innovative exhibitions, programs and events, DePaul Art Museum’s (DPAM) purpose is to build an inclusive community around art and ideas that explore the vast range of human experience and expression. Partnering with PBS's ART21—a national television series that takes viewers inside the lives and studios of contemporary artists—the booth at EXPO CHICAGO will feature the work of artist Barbara Kasten, featured in ART21 season eight, and preview a clip of the new season, officially airing in October 2016. DPAM will exhibit all sixteen ART21 artists in a concurrent group exhibition, “On Space and Place: Contemporary Art from Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver,” opening Fall 2016 at the museum.

Barbara Kasten, Transposition I, (2014)., Digital chromogenic print. 60 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of human rights around the world. Collaborative Díaz-Lewis’ (Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera and Cara Megan Lewis) 34,000 Pillows materializes the 2007 bed budget appropriations bill/mandate established by US Congress, which requires US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fill 34,000 beds per day with immigrant detainees in nearly 250 facilities across the country. The pillows are created from clothing donated by undocumented individuals in the Chicagoland area. Each unique pillow is available for purchase, priced to reflect the amount of taxpayer money spent each day to detain one person. 100% of the proceeds of each pillow support HRW.  

HRW will also present the work of Bradley McCallum. Entitled Weights and Measures, McCallum’s portraits depict defendants standing trial before international courts, initiated in partnership with the Coalition for the International Criminal.

DÍAZ LEWIS 34,000 Pillows, (2016 – ongoing). Pillows comprised of used and donated clothing. Approximately 20 X 27 inches each.

Hyde Park Art Center

The Hyde Park Art Center presents work from contemporary artists who participated in the institution’s biennial exhibition Ground Floor, initiated in 2010 to provide a closer look at the breadth of graduate-level academic art programs while creating a new cross-institutional conversation in Chicago. Gallery owner and curator, Monique Meloche selects the work of one artist from each of the four Ground Floor exhibitions representing the successes of the program. Featured artists include Tony Lewis (2012), Maria Gaspar (2010), Ben Murray (2014) and Leonard Suryajaya(2016). 


ART & LANGUAGE: MADE IN ZURICH–selected editions 1965–72 from The Philippe Méaille Collection, presents a group of seminal works by legendary conceptual artists Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden (ART & LANGUAGE) that have not been exhibited in forty years. First shown in 1972 at Bruno Bischofberger Galerie, Zürich, the work was acquired by the Rothschild Bank, and twenty years later bought by French collector, Philippe Méaille. The works were not seen again until 2012 when Méaille's international curator, Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, rediscovered them, leading to sequential exhibitions with Galerie Bernard Jourdan in Zürich, Berlin and Paris and the publication of MADE IN ZURICH. The late 1960s ethos and energy lies at the core of these works and this radical perspective became the backbone for one of the most innovative artistic collaborations in contemporary art. The Philippe Méaille Collection is both on long term loan to MACBA, Barcelona and in residence at the Château de Montsoreau, Maine et Loire, France. /Dialogues, presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will feature a symposium surrounding ART & LANGUAGE, including three diverse panel discussions Friday, September 23, 2016 at EXPO CHICAGO. For the full schedule, visit expochicago.com/_dialogues

ART & LANGUAGE, Paintings I, No. 2, Paintings I, No. 7, Paintings I, No. 8, (1966). Installation view, MADE IN ZURICH, Galerie Bernard Jordan, Switzerland, curated by jsvcPROJECT, 2014. Inkjet on paper mounted on wood panel, variable dimensions.

Natural Resources Defense Council

Participating in a variety of interdisciplinary partnerships with artists, architects and designers to engage the public on critical environmental issues, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) presents work by Lucerne-based origami artist Sipho Mabona in an effort to raise awareness of the threat posed by international trade of ivory and rhino horn—the second-largest threat to wildlife after habitat loss. The minimalist aesthetics, precise geometry and delicacy of Mabona’s work reminds us that the balance of the natural world is in jeopardy; if poaching of elephants and rhinos continues at extreme rates, both animals could vanish from the wild by mid-century. 

Red Brick Art Museum

Located in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, Redbrick Art Museum has successfully held exhibitions of Yongping Huang and Olafur Eliasson, among others. At EXPO CHICAGO 2016, Redbrick Art Museum will present Futu by Qi Yu. Inspired and created by the representative semiotic elements of Chinese culture, such as ceramics and cinnabar, Qi Yu makes great effort to detach the material semiotic language from the historical noumena in the lingual-culture system. Through free and spontaneous creation, utilizing easel painting and installation art, his artworks endeavor to endow the signifier capabilities to reconstruct the background of graphic language.

The Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society presents contemporary art exhibitions, events and publications, with a focus on the production of ambitious, experimental new artworks. At EXPO CHICAGO 2016, the Renaissance Society will showcase five original works on paper by artist Rodney Graham. Created in 1995 as preparatory sketches for Graham’s exhibition at the museum, School of Velocity, Parsifal, these unique works will be installed among additional archival materials relating to the two time-based musical installations that comprised the exhibition. 

Rodney Graham, Preparatory sketch for School of Velocity, Parsifal at the Renaissance Society, (1995).


Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is New York City’s only contemporary art museum dedicated to sculpture, commissioning new work and presenting exhibitions by both emerging and established, national and international artists. For EXPO CHICAGO, SculptureCenter will feature limited editions by Anthea Hamilton, nominated for this year's Turner Prize for her recent SculptureCenter exhibition, Lichen! Libido! Chastity!; Mika Tajima, whose temporary public art project commissioned by SculptureCenter is currently on view on New York City's waterfront; and Leslie Hewitt, whose first solo institutional exhibition in New York was on view at SculptureCenter in 2016. Additionally, SculptureCenter will show works donated by artists including Ursula von Rydingsvard, Blake Rayne and Kyle Thurman, sales from which will benefit the institution’s recent capital expansion.

Anthea Hamilton, Power, (2015). Silkscreen on Somerset Tub paper; Diptych. Left: 30 1/16 x 25 7/16 inches; Right: 59 11/16 x 34 5/8 inches. Edition of 50. Courtesy the artist.

The 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. 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. For EXPO CHICAGO 2016, SAIC alumna and artist Edra Soto (MFA 2000) continues her curatorial practice, organizing an exhibition of 25 artists from SAIC’s 2016 graduating class. This selection highlights emerging talent from Canada, China, Iran, Mexico, Spain, the US and more. In coordinating this show, Soto notes, “No matter how drastic, diverse or monitored our upbringing is, humans’ natural instincts and necessities for mating, surviving and communicating may perpetually remain.”

Jenn Smith, Untitled (Snake), (2016). Oil and acrylic on canvas.


ShopColumbia, Columbia College Chicago's student and alumni art boutique, features original designs created by Columbia College artists. Expanding on the learning laboratory model, ShopColumbia has selected emerging Columbia College Chicago students and alumni representing a diverse selection of illustration, fine art, photography, printmaking, paper-arts and interdisciplinary work.

Thoma Foundation

Based in Chicago and Santa Fe, the Thoma Foundation’s art collection represents transformative moments in history with more than 500 artworks spanning three broad fields: Spanish Colonial, Japanese Bamboo and Modern and Contemporary, including Color Field, Hard Edge, Op, Light & Space, New Mexico Modernism, Electronic and Digital Art. At EXPO CHICAGO, The Thoma Foundation will dedicate its booth to Daniel Rozin’s Selfish Gene Mirror (2015) as representative of the Foundation’s software-based art collection, comprised of nearly 100 objects and rooted in the history of computer art. Rozin’s interactive digital “mirror” transforms a viewer’s live reflection into a spectral, mutating gene using custom code to produce a real-time software simulation. This marks Rozin’s first exhibition in Chicago.


Threewalls presents The Black Athena Collective, founded in 2015 as a research and artistic laboratory for experimentation that engages political discourse and practices of spatial construction connected to the African continent. Comprised of artists Heba Amin and Dawit L. Petros, the collective was invited to present its research and work at the International Conference on Eritrean Studies (ICES) in July 2016, in Asmara, Eritrea. At EXPO CHICAGO, Threewalls presents the work made during these travels featuring an immersive installation of three dimensional architectural models, a film and photographic works.

The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago presents THEY 2016, an exhibition of works by recent graduates from the Department of Visual Arts MFA program. Curated by Zachary Cahill, participants include Carris Adams, Alex Calhoun, Autumn Clark,Zachary Harvey, David Lloyd, Sara Rouse, Tori Whitehead and Richard Williamson. The University of Chicago’s booth at EXPO CHICAGO is sponsored by Logan Center Exhibitions and the Department of Visual Arts (DoVA).

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Architecture Design and the Arts

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Architecture, Design and the Arts is one of the most dynamic, intellectual and creative learning and research environments in the country, housing the School of Architecture, School of Design, School of Art & Art History with Gallery 400, School of Theatre and Music and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. At EXPO CHICAGO 2016, each school will contribue a selection of work by faculty and students in an exhibition that explores our contribution to the public good. Gallery 400’s current show featuring Christa Donner will also be highlighted along with elements of the recent exhibition featuring Walter Netsch, the maverick architect of the UIC campus, and the inspiration for a design competition focused on imagining a new visual and performing arts center for the West Side of Chicago. 

Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally. At EXPO CHICAGO 2016, Whitechapel Gallery will present new editions by artists involved in the exhibition program including new works by Matthew Barney, Mary Heilmann, Keith Sonnier and William Kentridge. The presentation includes affordable editions and unique artworks by both established and emerging artists with all proceeds supporting the exhibition and education programs for the not-for-profit organization.

Mary Heilmann Sunny Chair for Whitechapel, (2016). Edition of 12 (available in four colours: pink, mint, green, chartreuse) Painted plywood. Signed, numbered and dated verso, with special plaque.

Zuecca Project Space

Zuecca Project Space provides connection and dialogue through the production of projects. Featuring a solo presentation of the ongoing project Monologues—started in 2014 by Italian sound artist Michele Spanghero—the work on view at EXPO CHICAGO is focused on the correlation between space and sound, featuring the silent voice of architecture by recording the acoustic resonance of the empty halls. Twelve among the most important theaters in Italy have been involved in the project to date—the booth at EXPO will focus on a video installation of the Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice. Presented in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago and support of Ritz Saddler and Hausbrandt.

Michele Spanghero, Fenice (2016). Still from video (full HD video, stereo sound - dur. 7min. loop)


6018|North | 3Arts

6018|North’s Very Important Performances (VIP), features performance works by 3Arts awardees and their collaborators that challenge artistic and social norms within a “democratic lounge” space located in the 300 level rooms above Festival Hall. Miguel Aguilar and Chris Silva transform walls into graffiti canvases both outside and inside the exposition; Fawzia Mirza disrupts Donald Trump’s Islamophobia; Amanda Williams constructs rehabilitated bricks;Rashayla Marie Brown and Folayemi Wilson have a say on professional pay and artistic agency; and Regin Igloriachronicles the proceedings through artists’ books. 3Arts is a nonprofit arts service and grantmaking organization that supports Chicago’s women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities. 6018|North is a nonprofit that challenges what art is, whom it is for and where and how it is created.