EXPO CHICAGO Announces Second Annual Art Critics Forum and Third Annual Curatorial Forum During Sixth Edition

Mar 22, 2017 4:00PM

Curator and writer Fionn Meade.

EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Modern and Contemporary Art, announces the second annual Art Critics Forum as well as programming for the third annual Curatorial Forum to take place during the sixth annual exposition (September 13 – 17, 2017). Providing a broader public platform for conversations on exhibition practice and art criticism, both Forum programs will be open to the public for the first time since their inception as part of /Dialogues, presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, allowing a glimpse into pertinent issues relevant to contemporary practice and context from leading critics and curators.

Curatorial Forum

Developed by EXPO CHICAGO and Independent Curators International (ICI), the Curatorial Forum offers a group of mid-career and established curators, working independently or with an institutional affiliation, the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues relating to curating, programming, institution-building and audience engagement. For the first time, the Curatorial Forum will feature a series of sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context, led by internationally recognized leaders in the field.

Session topics will include “Contemporary Literacy,” led by Queens Museum of Art Curator Larissa Harris; “Presenting Performance In and Outside the Gallery,” led by Independent Curator Fionn Meade; “Socially Engaged Practice,” led by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Leanne And George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs Dominic Willsdon; “Race and Representation,” led by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver; and “Regional Collaborations,” led by Speed Museum Curator of Contemporary Art Miranda Lash.

As an extension of the private sessions offered for the Curatorial Forum, ICI will co-present a panel on the /Dialogues stage located on the main floor of EXPO CHICAGO, offering the public an extended glimpse into the Forum programming. The Curatorial Forum panel discussion, open to all EXPO CHICAGO patrons, will take place Thursday, September 14, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., featuring Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver in conversation with Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator Naomi Beckwith.

Art Critics Forum

The second annual EXPO CHICAGO Art Critics Forum will once again highlight significant issues in arts journalism today, hosting leading national and international critics to discuss topics related to writing, authorship and publishing amongst their colleagues and peers. The 2017 Forum, “Criticism in the Post-Truth Era,” will address the impact of the current political climate on the state of art journalism. Led by artnet News Critic Christian Viveros-Fauné, the Forum will feature a series of short presentations by Afterall Editor Ana Bilbao, ARTnews Editor-in-Chief Sarah Douglas, freelance critic Kevin McGarry, and artnet News Writer Kenny Schachter, followed by a roundtable discussion.

Virgin Hotel is the Official Sponsor of the Art Critics Forum.

The Art Critics Forum, open to all accredited press and EXPO CHICAGO guests, will take place Thursday, September 14, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the /Dialogues stage. For accreditation information, please visit expochicago.com/media-room.


EXPO CHICAGO/2017, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, hosting more than 145 leading International exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. Now in its sixth year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO (Sept. 13–17, 2017) offers diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU, IN/SITU Outside, EXPO VIDEO, the Curatorial Forum, the Art Critics Forum, Special Exhibitions, EXPO Projects and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project. In addition, EXPO CHICAGO continues to publish THE SEEN, Chicago's International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base. In 2017, EXPO CHICAGO and the Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 16–January 7, 2018) will align, establishing the city as a preeminent destination for global contemporary art and architecture.
As part of the 2017 edition, the alignment will intersect across a wide variety of programs, including panels, international residencies, exhibitions and citywide events.

Vernissage, the opening night preview benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, takes place Wednesday, Sept 13, 6–9 p.m. General Admission to the exposition is Thursday, Sept. 14–Sunday, Sept. 17 (for hours please visit expochicago.com). Tickets to the exposition are $20 for one day, $30 for three days. Northern Trust is the Presenting Sponsor of EXPO CHICAGO. For more information about EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (Monday Sept. 11–Sunday Sept. 17), visit expochicago.com.

About the Curatorial Forum Session Leaders

Larissa Harris is a curator at the Queens Museum of Art. Exhibitions at QMA include Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center, a project on home finance by artist and urban designer Damon Rich; The Curse of Bigness, which featured major works by Survival Research Laboratories, J. Morgan Puett, and Dexter Sinister, among others; and the first U.S. solo presentation of Korean video and performance artist Sung Hwan Kim. In addition, she is helping plan a new long-term artist residency in Corona, Queens, the largely new-immigrant neighborhood on which the museum borders, with partners at Queens College CUNY. The first long-term resident is Tania Bruguera, invited in partnership with Creative Time. From 2004–2008 she was Associate Director at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, where she and staff commissioned and produced new work by Michael Smith, Damon Rich/ the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), John Malpede, and Xavier Le Roy; instituted a visiting artist series (Vito Acconci/Acconci Studio, Miranda July, Judith Barry, Seth Price, Dexter Sinister, and Rachel Harrison, among others); a student residency program; and a residency for Boston-area artists.

Fionn Meade is a curator and writer who has previously been Artistic Director at the Walker Art Center where exhibitions included Less Than One and Andrea Büttner, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, and Question the Wall Itself, which presents a range of works conceived as rooms and interior architecture, and includes major installations by Tom Burr, Nina Beier, Cerith Wyn Evans, Lucy McKenzie, Akram Zaatari, Paul Sietsema, Jonathas de Andrade, Walid Raad, and Marc Camille Chaimowicz, among others; as well as Merce Cunningham: Common Time, a retrospective survey of Merce Cunningham’s dynamic artistic collaborations, including work from more than seventy artists working across disciplines. Meade was also curator of the forthcoming survey of Berlin-based Iranian sculptor Nairy Baghramian's survey Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionelle, and forthcoming interdisciplinary projects at the Walker including site-specific campus commissions from Philippe Parreno, Theaster Gates, and Nairy Baghramian. Meade oversaw the Walker’s moving image commissions since 2014, with new works from Uri Aran, Shahryar Nashat, Leslie Thornton, Moyra Davey, and James Richards, as well as forthcoming new commissions from Renée Green, Marwa Arsanios, and the collaborative duo Pauline Boudrey and Renate Lorenz. His writing has appeared in Artforum, Bidoun, Mousse, Modern Painters, Parkett, and SPIKE Art Quarterly, among other publications. He has been a faculty member in the graduate programs at The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and MFA Visual Arts, Columbia University, and a visiting professor and lecturer nationally and internationally.

Dominic Willsdon is an educator and curator. Since 2006, he has been Leanne & George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Adjunct Professor in Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts. He was also a Curatorial Cloud Fellow of the 9th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, which opened in September 2013. From 2000–05, he was Curator of Public Programs at Tate Modern. He is a former editor of the Journal of Visual Culture, has written on visual culture, politics, and education, and is co-editor (with Diarmuid Costello) of The Life and Death of Images: Ethics and Aesthetics (Cornell UP, 2008).

Valerie Cassel Oliver is Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas. Prior to her tenure at CAMH, she was Director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Cassel Oliver has organized numerous exhibitions including Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012–15); among others.

Miranda Lash is the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum. Lash was previously the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), where she also managed NOMA’s Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden— one of the most important sculpture installations in the United States. During her tenure at NOMA, she curated over twenty exhibitions, including the large-scale traveling retrospective exhibition Mel Chin: Rematch and the site-specific installations and exhibitions Rashaad Newsome: King of Arms; Katie Holten: Drawn to the Edge, and Swoon: Thalassa. Lash also presented several artists’ first solo museum exhibitions in the United States including the Venice Biennale Silver Lion awardee Camille Henrot in Camille Henrot: Cities of Ys and the British artist Marcus Coates in Marcus Coates: Animal Instincts. Lash has been named a Clark Fellow at the Clark Art Institute, a participating curator in the Japan Foundation U.S. Curatorial Exchange Program, a past consultant for Creative Capital, and one of the co-founders of the arts criticism website Pelican Bomb. Prior to her appointment at NOMA Lash was curatorial assistant at The Menil Collection in Houston. She received her BA in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and her MA in Art History from Williams College.

Sarah Douglas is the current Editor-in-Chief of ARTnews and has been an art journalist and editor for numerous publications for over 15 years. She was previously the Culture Editor at The New York Observer and launched their visual art site GalleristNY. Douglas has contributed to The New York Times Style Magazine, New York Magazine online, The Art Newspaper’s daily art fair editions at Frieze, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, The Economist’s quarterly Intelligent Life and The National, among others. In 2013, Douglas was the recipient of ArtTable’s New Leadership award.

Dr. Ana Bilbao completed her PhD in Art History and Theory with specialization in Curatorial Theory and Practice at the University of Essex in 2017. She is an editor of Afterall Journal and a Research Fellow at the Afterall Research Centre in Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Bilbao teaches Art History and Curating at the University of Essex and previously worked in Arts Education in the Communications and External Relations Office at Essex, as well as an outreach tutor. She worked on the curatorial team of The Minories Art Galleries and as exhibitions organizer at Smiths Row Gallery. Before coming to the UK, she worked in Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo and in Galería GARCO as a curator. She participated in the project Nothing You Ever Wanted to Know About Curating: The Interview at Kynastonmcshine Gallery in London, and also co-curated the exhibition Organization of Dirt at Temple Works, Leeds. She was also an active member of the SMC at the Association of Art Historians.

Kevin McGarry Bio coming soon.

Kenny Schachter has been curating contemporary art exhibits in museums and galleries for nearly 30 years and teaches seminars in art history. Schachter has lectured internationally including keynote speeches at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the London Business School; is the recipient of a Rockefeller supported grant; and has contributed to books on Paul Thek, Zaha Hadid, Vito Acconci and Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. He currently is teaching a graduate seminar at the University of Zurich in art and economics and regularly contributes to artnet News, British GQ, The Art Newspaper and New York Magazine, among others. Schachter deals in international art from Impressionist and Modernism to the art and design of today. Schachter is self-taught in art and previously was an entertainment law writer, lawyer, fashion design apprentice, worked on the floor of the stock exchange, and was a practicing artist. He has appeared on The Southbank Show, Imagination, the Culture Show, BBC 4, and an upcoming short film for Sky.

Christian Viveros-Fauné is a New York-based writer and curator after formerly being an art dealer as well as art-fair director. He was awarded a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Grant in 2010 and was named critic in residence at the Bronx Museum in 2011. He has been a Lecturer at Yale University and Pratt University, and has curated a number of international exhibitions, including Dublin Contemporary 2011, the inaugural Irish biennial of contemporary art. He currently serves as the art and culture critic for artnet News.