Issue #143  4/21/2008
Art Chicago 2008 Attracts 181 Int'l Art And Photography Galleries; Opens Thursday

Art Chicago 2008, the centerpiece of Artropolis, brings together over 180 of the world's leading contemporary and modern art galleries, representing 56 international cities from 18 countries to showcase the work of over 2,000 renowned artists, all carefully vetted by a selection committee of some of the most renowned names in the arts' community. Art Chicago offers curators, collectors, artists and art enthusiasts a comprehensive survey of current and historic work, from cutting-edge to modern masters in a wide variety of media, including, of course, photography. The show will occupy the 200,000 sq. ft. 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.

A 17% increase in applications was received for Art Chicago 2008, with 350 galleries submitting in contrast to 300 the previous year. Additionally, 95% of the 132 exhibitors who participated in the 2007 fair re-applied for 2008--a dramatic increase from the 75% re-sign of the 104 participating galleries in 2006. Under different ownership, Art Chicago 2005 saw only 50% of galleries reapplying.

International representation has been bolstered 36% for 2008, with 30 cities presenting, up from the 22 in 2007.

The strong roster of U.S. galleries continues, with 27 cities represented, a 35% increase over the 20 in Art Chicago 2007.

"In every measurable way," commented Merchandise Mart Senior Vice President Mark Falanga, "Art Chicago is bigger and better. We attribute many of these improvements to the standards established by our selection committee, which was re-instituted in 2007."

"The quality of our 2008 exhibitor list defines Art Chicago as a prominent international contemporary and modern art fair," said Tony Karman, director of sales and development, Art Chicago. "Leading galleries--from Chicago to Seoul, from Paris to Los Angeles--will offer an extraordinary experience for art collectors, curators and art enthusiasts, showcasing works of more than 2,000 artists in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, prints and video installations."

My own company, Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, will be exhibiting at Art Chicago in booth 12-659. My cell phone at the show is 1-215-518-6962. We will feature top vintage selections of 20th-century master photographers, including Aaron Siskind, Dorothea Lange, Edward Steichen, Horst, Alfred Stieglitz, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Francois Kollar, Robert Doisneau, Edward Weston, Andre Kertesz, Barbara Morgan, Clarence John Laughlin, Lee Friedlander, Édouard Boubat, Ilse Bing, Walker Evans, Raoul Ubac, Brett Weston, Eugene Atget and many others. We will also have on display some of the most important 19th-century work that we have discovered, including several rare and very early prints by Gustave Le Gray, Edouard Baldus, Charles Negre and a new discovery, Alphonse De Launay. We will also show some of the contemporary work of Lisa Holden and Arthur Tress, as well as Arthur's earlier work.

Numerous other dealers will also feature photography, from vintage works to contemporary.

"The Art Chicago experience allows collectors to view and purchase in the broader context of a city with renowned museums, terrific curators and great collections," said Mart President Christopher Kennedy. "A single location is more convenient, and gives credibility and confidence that all exhibiting galleries have been vetted for quality. Chicago has always been the destination for the thoughtful collector."

The Merchandise Mart will also act as the hub of Artropolis, a city-wide celebration of the arts which attracts thousands of visitors to savor a rich menu of art and entertainment experiences that are unique to Chicago. Educational programs, guided tours, music, theater and dance performances are planned at venues throughout the city, from major museums to small galleries, world-class concert halls to cutting-edge clubs, lakefront parks to exclusive private parties.

Along with Art Chicago, four additional shows will be produced concurrently at the Merchandise Mart April 25-28, 2008. NEXT is a new invitational art fair installed on the 7th floor of The Merchandise Mart. NEXT will offer focused curatorial visions of some of the most important developments in contemporary art.

The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, an established, premier antiques destination, celebrates its 11th year, and will feature a wide range of categories from over 120 dealers from around the globe.

The Artist Project is an art exhibition and sale featuring original work from independent artists undiscovered by the gallery community. The Artist Project provides the opportunity to discover interesting and affordable works directly from the artists.

The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art exhibits self-taught art, outsider art, art brut, ethnographic art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art.

More information on Artropolis is available by visiting http://www.artropolischicago.com .


Dates: Friday, April 25 – Monday, April 28, 2008

(Opening Night Preview Party: Thursday, April 24)

Times: Friday, April 25: 11 am-7 pm

Saturday, April 26: 11 am-7 pm

Sunday, April 27: 11 am-6 pm

Monday, April 28: 11 am-4 pm

[Thursday, April 24: Opening Night Preview Party. Tickets are $100.]

Location: The Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Tickets: $20 for entry to all five shows. $25 for multiple day pass

Information: http://www.artchicago.com or 1-312-527-4141