Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, July 18

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« An Interview with Marc Fischer of Public Collectors: Hardcore Architecture Review: VICO @ Little House and Comfort Film »

Art Wed Sep 23 2015

Arrived Deeply Uncomfortable, Left Somewhat Satisfied: EXPO Chicago 2015

The 2015 Expo Chicago presented 140 galleries from all over the world last weekend at the Navy Pier festival hall. In a celebratory manner, THE SEEN, an independent editorial affiliate of Expo, released their first print issue over the weekend, and /Dialogues introduced panel discussions and conversations throughout the three bustling days. IN/SITU provided large-scale installations and site-specific works throughout the expansive hall inside and outside on Navy Pier.

The most memorable work in the IN/SITU program, possibly because of its location, was Daniel Buren's From three windows, which illuminated the space and released color while suspended from the ceiling. The residual program pieces were lost among the volume of visitors and rousing bodies that centered around the smaller works in the booths--glancing at what was above, and being lured in towards the interest of sales.

from three windows, by Daniel Buren
Daniel Buren "from three windows," courtesy of EXPO Chicago

The strongest and most inspiring works were stationed on the outskirts, found on the east and west walls, and labeled with orange signs--distanced from the core of the fair. Not-for-profit galleries such as, Threewalls, The Renaissance Society, LOCAL Arte Contemporaneo, and the Hyde Park Art Center kicked ass with works that surveyed a large selection of media such as sculpture, video, installation, and performance. The Renaissance Society, who exhibited Nora Schultz in 2014, presented the works from a performance that was held in the space a year ago. By transforming the objects that were included in the exhibition, the artist continued to layer and estrange the work from its original location, creating an ongoing conversation between what it means to truly "finish" a work of art. LOCAL Arte Contemporaneo worked with Chilean artist Carlos Costa to create an installation piece focused on the basic element of wind and environment. Based on the "Windy City," the piece humorously situated a small tree (the installation changed throughout the days) in an orange Home Depot bucket, attached small kites with blue duct tape, and set a fan on the floor. Contriving the false, but very real, wind created an invisible clash between the atmosphere and the static objects situated in the booth. These galleries, along with SAIC and DoVA, presented honest and interesting works that represented the Chicago community.

Nora Schultz
Nora Schultz, courtesy of EXPO Chicago

Once I began my walk inside the labyrinth, I was overwhelmed with "Look at me!" canvases that engrossed interested collectors, but steered me away. Painting dominated the fair once again this year. Maurico Limón's piece, Untitled, is an example of this. Limón's oeuvre is interdisciplinary and includes performance and video, however an oil on linen painting was displayed in the booth. Galeria Hilario Galguera from Mexico did make a rebuttal by including Bosco Sodi's, Untitled, volcanic rocks covered in ceramic glaze and gold paint.

Several galleries, such as Galerie Thomas Shulte from Berlin, indulged the concept of "size matters" in terms of bringing visitors into their booths. Black Jack by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle was impressive, loud, and a bit ridiculous, but collectors and visitors were drawn in to the stand-out piece.

Local Arte Contemporaneo by Carlos Costa
Carlos Costa, "Local Arte Contemporaneo," courtesy of EXPO Chicago

Though seldom featured, video work was included in the fair and a particular favorite of mine was Pace Gallery's piece from Michal Rovner titled, Space Element. The video loop included an Israeli landscape, distorted figures, and slow motion movement across an LCD screen. The glitch and the distortion in the video created an image that appears stagnant at first glance, but on closer inspection, featured moving figures that pulsed alongside a landscape. Another great video piece was Silvia Riva's, Still Paradise is Ours 2 (Hurricane), at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery booth. In comparison to LOCAL's wind installation, Riva's work was small scale and included miniature props such as rocks, plants, and a fan. Next to the props was an LCD screen that ominously presented wind, rain and, representing the title, hurricane-like weather patterns. The pieces, although small, required attention and created a meditative experience as I cautiously watched the screen but felt energized through its physical movement. The Nancy Hoffman Gallery didn't have many redeeming factors except for the video piece, situated on the floor, by Asya Reznikov. Packing for Delivery - Boy, represented the artist's video-based works and her interest in projecting images into or onto three-dimensional objects. In this case, the object was a suitcase and the projection presented hands that packed clothing, among other things, for the arrival and birth of her son.

When I began my rounds at Expo, I felt lost, a bit hungry, and completely out of my element. I found refuge in the Charlie James Gallery booth where I was offered a sticker that Jennifer Dalton created specifically for Expo. Hello I'm was an installation piece where visitors were given the chance to choose a sticker to fit their feelings and current state of emotions. "Wearing the wrong shoes" and "alternating between depressed and inspired" were tough contenders but I decided on "deeply uncomfortable." Slapping the sticker on my shirt gave me a sense of confidence to admit that I felt incredibly poor, confused, and uninspired. By the time I left the maze of booths and delicate objects my sticker was peeling off at the corners and I proudly continued to pat it down in an effort to keep its certainty and affirmation sticking to my skin.

Hello I'm by Jennifer Dalton
Jennifer Dalton, "Hello I'm,", courtesy of Charlie James Gallery

Despite the claims, demanding that I remain uncomfortable, I walked off of Navy Pier feeling a small sense of intensity and impulse. While I was not originally rewarded, I exited a bit more eager to explore global artists, continue my push to move beyond painting, and completely comfortable with being uncomfortable.

GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15