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EXPO Chicago 2024 + Must See Events

EXPO Chicago 2024 + Must See Events

The 2024 edition of EXPO CHICAGO presented by Northern Trust is upon us and this year will be its first run under new ownership since the exposition founded by Tony Karman in 2012 was acquired by Frieze in July 2023. The eleventh (WHOA!) iteration of EXPO takes place from Thursday April 11 through Sunday April 14 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. If you’ve ever attended a few or all iterations since launch, you know “Chicago’s Anchor Contemporary Art Exposition” has grown not only in the types of galleries in attendance but also in the types of events around it. Chicago galleries representing include: Mariane Ibrahim,, Secrist|Beach, Corbett vs. Dempsey, McCormick Gallery, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, moniquemeloche, Volume Gallery. Joining them will be galleries from twenty-nine countries and seventy-five cities as far Capetown (Everard Read). This year’s EXPO Chicago will kick off with the by invitation only VIP Opening preview day (noon – 9:00pm). Later that evening some of Chicago’s finest and connected and the art world will gather for Vernissage, a fundraiser benefitting The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Expo will open to the public through the weekend and its a good idea to plan ahead, between checking out the different gallery exhibitors (170 this year) and programs/talks you can definitely spend the whole day there. Here’s what you need to know about the 2024 EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art.

EXPO CHICAGO Photo by Kyle Flubacker

Thursday, April 11 |
General Admission
Friday, April 12 | 11:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday, April 13 | 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday, April 14 | 11:00am – 6:00pm

Opening Night Ticket | Early Bird $150 (*$175)
Single-Day Admission | Early Bird $30 (*$45)
Three-Day Admission | $70
Guided Tour (add on) | $30
Art Encounter Tour: International Highlights (add on) | $40
Single-Day + Guided Tour | $70
Single-Day + Art Encounter Tour: International Highlights | $80
Student/Senior Single Day Discount Admission ($10 off single admission tickets are available when purchased on-site, available on-site only)

guided tours of EXPO CHICAGO, led by museum educators and other arts professionals will also be available. Guided tours will orient visitors to the fair’s layout and highlight our 2024 exhibitors, top artists and artworks, and provide information about site-specific commissioned artworks situated throughout EXPO CHICAGO. Tours are 60 minutes in duration, and take place on Friday April 12 at 1:00pm and 3:00pm, Saturday April 13 at 1:00pm and 3:00pm, and Sunday April 14 at 1:00pm.


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Northern Trust, a leading provider of wealth management, investment management and asset servicing worldwide, returns as the fair’s Presenting Sponsor, marking over a decade of mutual endorsement of the arts. Three American institutions (High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI; and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in San
Diego, CA) will benefit from the 10th Northern Trust Purchase Prize. They are also introducing two new prizes this year, Macerich’s Fashion Outlets of Chicago Purchase Prize for THE COLLECTION and the 21c Museum Hotels Civic Acquisition Prize. The institutions “will all select works from the EXPOSURE Section, which is dedicated to emerging galleries from across the globe aged ten years or younger. Presenting Sponsor, Northern Trust will purchase the chosen works for accession into the museums’ permanent collections. The selection will be announced at EXPO CHICAGO on April 12, at noon on the Northern Trust Exchange Stage.” Previous recipients of the Northern Trust Purchase Prize include The Art Institute of Chicago; The Arts Club of Chicago; Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; DePaul Art Museum, DePaul University; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; Pérez Art Museum; Portland Art Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Speed Art Museum.

EXPO CHICAGO, Photo by Justin Barbin


Attend with an Opening Night Ticket or VIP pass only
Join Chance the Rapper in conversation with artist Thelonious Stokes and Asma Naeem, curator of the exhibition The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century which traveled from the Baltimore Museum of Art to the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2023. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of hip hop’s birth, the exhibition brought together the past two decades in hip hop considered through a wide range of artifacts and mediums. Featured in the exhibition—alongside iconic works like Gordan Parks’ photograph A Great Day in Hip Hop (1998) and Mark Bradford’s stunning canvas Biggie, Biggie, Biggie (2002)— was the same red overalls (designed by Sheila Rashid) and classic black ‘New Era 3’ cap worn by Chance the Rapper at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Moderated by Nate Freeman of Vanity Fair, the panel hopes to contribute to the growing scholarship around hip hop and its contributions to international contemporary art.

April 12 | 2:00pm — 3:00pm
In 2024, EXPO CHICAGO will celebrate the third edition of the annual Directors Summit, an initiative that gathers an emerging generation of art museum leaders from across the country for a three-day program of conversations around civic responsibility and advancing organizational growth and change in response to the call for an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future.
Facing the profound challenges of an election year, the 2024 Directors Summit offers a forum for museum leaders to share how their institutions offer an invaluable “third space” to explore civic discourse and foster common ground. The summit is produced in partnership with museum consultant Jill Snyder (Principal, Snyder Consultancy) and features a keynote lecture at the University Club of Chicago by Dr. Louise Bernard, Founding Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum (The Obama Foundation). 

April 12 | 3:00 – 4:00pm
Art21 presents a selection of films featuring artists living and working in Chicago. Sharing their expertise and wisdom with the next generation, artists like Nick Cave, (SAIC Stephanie and Bill Sick Professor of Fashion, Body and Garment), Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Michael Rakowitz, Jessica Stockholder, and Catherine Sullivan are also educators. Each has taught or is currently teaching at local institutions like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.   Emma Nordin, Director of Education at Art21, will join for a Q&A following the screening.

April 12 | 5:30PM—6:30PM
Join the seventh annual Art Critics Forum for a discussion on criticism as practice. It is often assumed that art critics spend their time observing the creations of others and penning reviews about what they see at their desks. However, for centuries, many of the finest art writers have been artists themselves. Moderated by Tessa Solomon, the Art Critics Forum will consider the tradition of the artist as critic, exploring how the experience of being in the studio influences how critics view and write about others’ art. The panel brings together two artist-critics to discuss the symbiosis between making and critique in each of their unique practices.

April 13 | 5:15PM — 6:15PM
Join Los Angeles-based artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya in conversation with Silas Munro on the occasion of Sepuya’s most comprehensive monographic release to date Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Darkroom A to Z, which will be published by Aperture in Fall 2024. Designed by Munro and his studio, the monograph guides viewers through the vast network of subjects, references, and interconnected artist communities within Sepuya’s photographic practice over the past 15 years. Sepuya will speak on the varies bodies of work featured in the monograph, in addition to discussing the development of the project and its larger relationship to publishing, zines, and bookmaking.


Friday, April 12 | 9am-12pm
The annual breakfast is an opportunity to connect with artists, curators, collectors, and art enthusiasts from around the world, while getting a glimpse into what’s happening in Chicago’s art scene. This year, the exhibitions on view will feature both HATCH and BOLT residents: artists-in-residence bARBER and Shonna Pryor, curated by Abreihona Lenihan; and artist-in-residence Salvador Andrade Arévalo has a solo exhibition; alongside open studios of Abraham Cone, Ále Campos, Alexis de Chaunac, ebere agwuncha, Olya Salimova, and Salvador Andrade. RSVP required. RSVP

Friday, April 12 | 5:00–8:00pm | 1550 W Carroll Ave
Join Freeman’s | Hindman for an after hours preview of our spring Fine Art Auctions. Featuring powerhouse artists such as Gertrude Abercrombie, Andy Warhol, Al Held, Louise Nevelson, Pat Steir, and more, this event is not be missed.

Join us for Art After Hours (AAH) Powered by Gertie! Sponsored by Arete Wealth & Masterworks, AAH takes place from 5-8 pm on Friday, April 12 during EXPO ART WEEK and offers extended hours at over 45 galleries and creative spaces throughout the city of Chicago. With a myriad of exciting events unfolding throughout the evening, be sure to plan your night accordingly. No matter your background–whether you’re an art aficionado or a newly minted collector — AAH is a great place to forge relationships with new galleries, artists and other collectors.

Friday, April 12 | 5:00–8:00pm
Heritage Auctions | 222 W Hubbard St
Enjoy photography from the legendary Vivian Maier Collection and Modern & Contemporary highlights from Scully to Stella, all previewed for upcoming auctions.

Friday, April 12 | 7:00–10:00pm | Logan Monument in Grant Park, S Michigan Ave & E 9th St
Activating Brendan Fernandes’ site-specific project at the General John Alexander Logan Monument, this durational performance choreographed by Fernandes will feature light, sound, and a cast of dancers from Chicago’s BIPOC and Queer communities. Taking place after dark, the Logan Monument will be illuminated to reveal the dancers’ bodies forming physical expressions of tableaux, incorporating elements of lifting, carrying, and contact improvisation. Free and open to the public.

See Also

Saturday, April 13 | 11:00am–2:00pm
South Side Community Art Center | 3831 S Michigan Ave
This annual celebratory gathering highlights Black women women/femme/non-binary curators, artists, arts administrators, and culture workers. The event seeks to encourage fellowship and connection amongst Black women in the arts based here in Chicago and elsewhere, alongside mimosas, small bites, and music. SSCAC acknowledges that woman-identifying people are expansive. This event is LGBTQIA inclusive. Registration required.

Saturday, April 13 | 12:00–3:00pm
Ken Saunders Gallery | 2041 W Carroll Ave
Artists will be present to discuss their work at this special event at Ken Saunders Gallery with drinks and snacks served.

Saturday, April 13 | 6:00–9:00pm | 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, East Ontario Street
Join us for an unforgettable evening at FLOURISH, a one-of-a-kind event that celebrates creativity, inspiration, and community. Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of art, culture, and pure joy. But that’s not all! This event which includes Wine + Spirit Tasting, Artist Spotlight and Music + Cocktails + Food + Networking, is more than just an art exhibition. It’s a chance to connect with fellow art enthusiasts, mingle with talented artists, and discover new perspectives. Engage in stimulating conversations, exchange ideas, and be inspired by the creative energy that fills the air. RSVP

Saturday, April 13 | 1:00–2:00pm Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N State Street)
Join Art21 for a special screening and conversation with celebrated artist Michael Rakowitz. The program will begin with a screening of the Art21 Extended Play film Haunting the West featuring Rakowitz. Following the screening, the artist will join for a conversation.

Sunday, April 14 | 5:00–8:00pm
Chicago Athletic Association | 12 S Michigan Ave
Low Fidelity speaks to the mind, the memory, and the radio. Unreliable, fragmented, transitory; like the fleeting ringing in your ear it oscillates between now and then, here and there. For one evening in Madison Ballroom on the eighth floor, the fourth iteration of the sonic installation comes to life. Twenty vintage AM transistor radio photo cubes rotate and transmit signal simultaneously, featuring street photography taken with Polaroid 600 film. Automated tuning forks offer an uneasy disruption to the sonic field, emphasizing their highly unpredictable and often low audio fidelity.


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