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The NEXT art fair at the Merchandise Mart
Photo by Mary Barone
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by Kevin Nance

By various measures -- including the number of exhibitors (780), number of artworks on view (16,000) and, most notably, sheer square footage (more than 230,000) -- last weekend’s Artropolis, Apr. 25-28, 2008, a suite of five art fairs at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, was huge. "There has never been an art fair of this size and scope in Chicago," Mart president Christopher G. Kennedy said in a speech this month, "or anywhere else in the world."