6 Must-See Discussions at Expo Chicago

by Paddy Johnson on September 13, 2013 · 1 comment Art Fair

Joel Sternfeld | McLean, Virginia, December 1978 | 1978. via participating gallery Luhring Augustine

Expo Chicago launches next week and I’m already preparing. So far that means reading the website schedule and mentally preparing myself for reporting on the fair. I’ll be heading out to Chicago next Thursday to check out Expo and participate in “Dialogues”, a series of panel discussions on contemporary art launched in partnership with The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Contemporary Art Daily’s Forrest Nash, The Baer Faxt’s Josh Baer, and myself will speak on a panel about digital publication moderated by Bad at Sports Founders Richard Holland and Duncan MacKenzie.

Perhaps thanks to the fair’s partnership with the institute, the panel discussions look a lot more interesting than the normal gamut of collector centric talks fairs normally launch. As such, I’ve put together a list of the discussions I’d most like to see.


11:00am | Highlight // William J. O’Brien
William J. O’Brien (Artist, Marianne Boesky Gallery) in conversation with Christopher E. Vroom (Founder and President, Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue)

How do art grants affect an artist’s career? William J. O’Brien, an artist known for his playful use of color and shape in all mediums talks about how a grant from Artadia in 2006 influenced his practice with Christopher E. Vroom, Artadia’s Founder. Vroom is also the co-founder of ArtSpace, an online edition company.

12:30pm | In Conversation // Michelle Grabner on “Work From Home”
Michelle Grabner (Artist, Curator of the upcoming Whitney 2014 Biennial)
David Norr (Chief Curator, Cleveland MOCA)
Gaylen Gerber (Artist)
Moderated by: Reto Thuring (Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Museum of Art)

Michelle Grabner is busy. She’s the co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennale, and will launch a new show, “Work From Home” at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in November, 2013. For this show she’s collaborated with Gaylen Gerber to produce “backdrops” for her paintings, prints, videos and sculptures. She’ll be chatting with a bunch of people who will make this show happen.

2:00pm | IMG TXT // Art and Writing for the Digital Screen
Moderated by: Richard Holland and Duncan MacKenzie (Co-Founders, Bad at Sports)
Paddy Johnson (Editorial Director, Art F City)
Josh Baer (Founder, The Baer Faxt)
Forrest Nash (Founder, Contemporary Art Daily)

The fair’s description for this panel reads, “Assembling some of the most prominent and influential voices on art and art writing for the web, this panel will address new modalities of looking at, thinking about, and critically engaging with contemporary artistic discourse.” I’ll take that.


12:30pm | Bad at Sports // One-on-One
Solveig Øvstebø (Executive Director, Renaissance Society)
William Powhida (Artist, Charlie James Gallery) and Charlie James (Principal, Charlie James Gallery)
Bad at Sports’ Duncan MacKenzie and Richard Holland will interview Solveig Øvstebø, executive director of the Renaissance Society, artist William Powhida represented by Charlie James Gallery, and Director Charlie James. Having seen Powhida, MacKenzie and Holland charisma in action, I think this one’s gonna be a winner.

3:00pm–6:00pm | Bad at Sports // One-on-One
Sanford Biggers (Artist, moniquemeloche, David Castillo Gallery, MASSIMO DE CARLO)
Elysia Borowy-Reeder (Director, MOCAD Detroit)
Jose Lerma (Artist)
More Bad at Sports moderated panels. This time they interview artist Sanford Biggers, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Director of the MOCAD in Detroit, and artist José Lerma, most recently featured in a solo exhibition for Chicago Works at the MCA Chicago.


11:00am | Highlight // LaToya Ruby Frazier
Aperture Foundation presents LaToya Ruby Frazier (Artist) in conversation with Karen Irvine (Curator and Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography)

I’ve seen plenty of powerful talks by LaToya Ruby Frazier, a photographer who has extensively documented her hometown, Braddock, but I’ve never seen her in conversation with anyone. This curator could be anyone, and I’d be interested in attending, but it’s made doubly good by Karen Irving. Irving curated “Backstory: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ron Jude and Guillaume Simoneau” at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, so they’ll have In this case, Irvine, curated Frazier into the

{ 1 comment }

Green Solution Collective September 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Nice photos. Are those pumpkins? And how are you planning to use them?

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