EXPO CHICAGO Review- Three Highlights

Hosted this Fall at Navy Pier, Expo Chicago was as expansive as it was rich. A truly international exposition, featuring contemporary art from diverse mediums, countries, and artists, the art fair was both a showcase and testimony to the strength of modern artists. From sculpture and screen printing to painting and photography, there was something for everyone at the event.

Here are three highlights from the numerous galleries on the floor at EXPO CHICAGO this year:

Sam Durant

Durant’s neon “light box signs” were bold and timely pieces to come across on Navy Pier. As part of IN/SITU, curated by Pablo Leon De La Barra, these sculptural works drew text from protests and demonstrations and blew them up in bright, glowing colors. With phrases like “Am I Next?,” “Stay,” and “SPeak the Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes,” this larger-than-life display was an arresting work exemplifying the prescience of the underlying forces behind the #MeToo Movement.

Sam Durant, "Speak the Truth Even if Your Voice Shakes"

Paulo Nazareth

Watermelon Ford, amongst other pieces centering on the subjects of a red Ford pickup truck with its bed full of watermelons, was another standout of the exposition. Presented as part of the Mendes Wood DM gallery, this exhibition included a lifesize pickup truck rendered literally (it was hard not to stare at the truck as you made your way through the gallery), as well as in more figurative iterations, such as on photographic prints on cotton paper (Sem Titulo). Other representations of the Ford and its cargo were filtered through video and hand-drawn sketches in bright colors.


Paulo Nazareth, "Sem Titulo"

Robert Koch Gallery

Presenting several different artists’ works, the Robert Koch Gallery’s curated pieces showcased texture in both expressionistic and representational pieces. Edward Burtynsky’s pigment ink prints and chromogenic prints of industrial sites from Chile and India viewed aerially were particularly striking in the way they captured the wear and tear of salt pans and lithium mines. Ljubodrag Andric’s pigment ink print, Pingyao #7, was equally impressive in its use of texture, filtering the simple image of a moon on a dark horizon through a series of textured tiles that isolate the piece while still comprising a larger whole.

Edward Burtynsky, "Lithium Mines 1," Salt Flats, Atacama Desert, Chile, 2017
Ljubodrag Andric, Pingyao 7, 2015

Photos courtesy of EXPO CHICAGO unless otherwise indicated.

Brent Ervin-Eickhoff is a director, writer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. He has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., Facility Theatre, and others as a director, assistant director, and in a variety of artistic capacities. Brent served as Co-Artistic Director and then Managing Director of Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble for three years, of which he was a founding member. His productions of Herculaneum and Bison? Bison. Bison! with Blue Goose were praised by critics and audiences. Bison? Bison. Bison! was selected and performed as part of Chicago’s Night Out in the Parks Initiative. An award-winning filmmaker, Brent’s films have screened as part of the Frog Baby Film Festival and Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Project. His play Puget Sound was workshopped as a staged reading as part of A Red Orchid Theatre’s Incubator Program in 2017. Brent graduated from Ball State University Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Directing and Theatre Education, as well as Ball State’s prestigious Academic Honors in Writing.

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