This year’s edition of the fair featured a diverse roster of 170 exhibitors from 90 cities and 36 countries, displayed at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall and accompanied by a robust schedule of talks and events. EXPO Chicago put a spotlight on curators, with a year-round program designed for them in collaboration with Independent Curators International (ICI) and an annual Curatorial Exchange in order to attract curators from different countries to discuss shared perspectives, goals and challenges within the field.
Among the most engaging presentations worth mentioning, Chicago-based gallery DOCUMENT featured a striking sculpture made of fluorescent light tubes by Kiah Celeste. The piece attempts a reinvention of the legacy of minimalism with a physical and sexual touch, creating a great conversation with the more tactile, colorful sculpture by Julien Creuzet and the elaborate mixed media ceramic collage by Erin Jane Nelson. Bold queer narratives could also be found within the sentimental portraits by Colombian artist Giorgio Celin presented by KORNFELD Gallery, Berlin, or in the visceral depictions of queer party circles and the underground metal scene of Buenos Aires by Carrie Bencardino, presented by PIEDRAS, Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, the scenes by Moll Brau, presented by Martha’s Contemporary in Austin, stand at an intersection between an investigation of love and identity and a drawing of some interesting parallels with alchemical processes.