The Fate of Art Chicago


Greetings from Los Angeles! I’m leaving my fair city to be in what was once my fair city because one of the artists at my gallery, Sarah Cromarty, is having an opening at Bucket Rider this weekend. More on that and all the other Chicago-related fun I plan to have later…there is shocking news to report first!

As Jason mentioned today, The Chicago Tribune also reported today that Art Chicago, once the art fair in the United States, may actually not be happening as scheduled this week. Only two days before it was supposed to open, production has shut down and the folks at Thomas Blackman and Associates are very quiet. But most shockingly is that galleries who are participating in the fair are just finding this out along with the rest of the art world. Not…good.

Art dealers from Chicago and elsewhere were awaiting word on whether the show would be delayed or relocated, with some mentioning the possibility of a hasty retreat to Navy Pier. Trucks rolled into the park’s Butler Field on Tuesday to unload artworks from galleries, but found just a large white tent, with no walls constructed and dirt for a floor. No workers were evident, and there were reports of union picketing during the prior week. Gregory Martin had arrived by panel truck from San Francisco, carrying artworks from three galleries. He said he heard the show might be relocated but he was not told where.

Will Art Chicago go back to Navy Pier or will it be postponed (i.e. doomed)? For a fair and a city who are teetering on the edge of not mattering since the Armory and Art Basel Miami Beach came around, this might be the that straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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