More than a year after the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic set in and art fairs around the world canceled their plans for the foreseeable future, Chicago’s EXPO fair is holding its 2021 edition online, rescheduled from the fair’s usual in-person time slot in September. This year’s edition, known as EXPO CHGO ONLINE, gathers presentations from more than 80 U.S. and international galleries showcasing both contemporary upstarts and well-known figures working in painting, sculpture, fiber art, and much more.
In addition to regular gallery programming, the fair also includes a special presentation of ecologically minded works curated by New Orleans Museum of Art curator Katie A. Pfohl, a section dedicated to highlighting solo and two-person exhibitions from galleries 10 years or younger, and a special exhibition section featuring nonprofit institutions and museums. The fair’s online portal opened to the public on Friday, and will run through Monday, April 12th. Here, we look at some of the digital fair’s standout presentations.
Miles McEnery Gallery
Miles McEnery Gallery’s presentation of paintings by artists on its roster is another explosion of color and form, with works that range between gestural and geometric abstraction, surrealist landscapes, and vibrant figurative scenes. Standouts include Guy Yanai’s romantic pastel-hued portrait Claire and Her Boyfriend (2021), available for $32,000; Inka Essenhigh’s ethereal dusk forest-scape Blue Spruce and Waning Crescent Moon (2021), available for $44,000; and Tomory Dodge’s manic bricolage Lush Thicket (2021), available for $60,000. Raffi Kalenderian’s Christine Minas (2021) builds layers of impastoed strokes and vivid patterns around its central, titular figure, while Tom LaDuke’s The Blow That Hurts The Ones That Don’t (2021) obscures its slippery central figure behind splashes of pigment and long errant brushstrokes.