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exposition CHICAGO art fair
Navy Pier, site of the new exposition CHICAGO art fair in 2012


June 2, 2011

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The Chicago art scene may lack a certain oomph, but that perception is made to be overcome. Thus, welcome the new Chicago art fair, the orthographically inverted exposition CHICAGO, scheduled to bow more than a year from now, Sept. 19-23, 2012, in Festival Hall at Navy Pier. The fair is produced by the newly formed Art Expositions, LLC, headed by Tony Karman -- a former director of Art Chicago -- who promises 100 dealers in contemporary art, modern art and design.

“Although we are 16 months away, we already have considerable support and encouragement from major Chicago institutions and civic leaders,” said Karman, who is heading to Art Basel later this month to recruit dealers. An advisory committee of dealers and civic leaders is in formation. Karman has no exhibitors committed to the project as yet, though the fair has signed on for three years at Navy Pier.

This new fair is slated to take up the entire 170,000 square feet of Festival Hall, or more than four times the space of the Park Avenue Armory, home of the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show. This spring’s installment of Art Chicago had shrunk from 155 dealers down to 128, and was marked by some notable defections, including local dealer Rhona Hoffman, who said she skipped town to take in Berlin galleries. Art Chicago has been looking for a new fair director.

-- Brook S. Mason

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