EXPO CHICAGO founder Tony Karman reflects on the fair’s rise to international acclaim and shares a preview of this year’s 10th anniversary edition.
Ohio artist Loraine Lynn’s artwork on view at EXPO 2022
Given Chicago’s history as home to the Chicago International Art Exposition in 1980, the first international art fair in America, Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO’s president and director, believes it was only natural for the city to host a wide-scale fair in today’s world. Karman solidified the city’s spot on the international art calendar when he founded EXPO in 2012, and over the past decade, he has helped transform the Windy City into a global creative hub. “Chicago deserved to have a leading fair to build on the tradition of collaboration with and service of our institutions, galleries, artists, and the broader cultural tourism and hospitality communities,” he adds.
This year marks EXPO’s 10th anniversary, and as he looks back on what he’s built, Karman is still as driven as he was in 2012. “I’m deeply committed to the mission of EXPO CHICAGO and to playing our part in supporting Chicago’s civic and cultural ecosystems,” he shares. “Our diverse, innovative and vibrant city is home to leading museums, galleries, artists, institutions and restaurants, all of whom contribute to the rich cultural community of Chicago that makes EXPO CHICAGO a must-visit experience for international collectors, curators, arts professionals and patrons each year.” This year’s exposition at Navy Pier—the largest to date—will showcase more than 3,000 contemporary and modern works from 170 galleries across 36 countries. Guests can also expect focused sections, including EXPOSURE, dedicated to solo and two-artist presentations by galleries 10 years and younger, and PROFILE, a presentation of solo booths and focused projects from international galleries. “Each year, we continue to add to our core programming,” Karman says. “Although we missed two years due to the pandemic, 2023 is extra special. … I sincerely hope you join me at EXPO CHICAGO to be inspired by, and acquire, artwork by leading international artists working today.” April 13-16, Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand Ave.