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EXPO CHICAGO Announces Expanded Curatorial Programs and Third Annual Art Critics Forum


“We are thrilled to be expanding our 2018 core Forum programming alongside the official launch of the Curatorial Exchange, since the success of the pilot program that led to the major off-site exhibition of the Palais de Tokyo and the Institut français during last year’s exposition,” said EXPO CHICAGO Director of Programming Stephanie Cristello. “EXPO CHICAGO is among the first fairs to initiate and fund a curatorially-driven program of this stature and significance in the United States and remains committed to providing not only a platform for professionals from around the world to engage with the exposition’s deep commitment to critical discourse, but the opportunity to contribute to its legacy as well.”

Curatorial Forum

Developed by EXPO CHICAGO and Independent Curators International (ICI), the Curatorial Forum offers a group of mid-career and established curators, working independently or with an institutional affiliation, the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues relating to curating, programming, institution-building and audience engagement. The Curatorial Forum will once again feature a series of invitational sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context, led by internationally recognized leaders in the field.

Curatorial Forum Highlights:

A keynote discussion for Curatorial Forum participants, Chicago professionals and other visiting curators, will be presented by Director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo Jochen Volz, following Jesús Carrillo (Independent Curator, 2017); and Sally Tallant (Director, Liverpool Biennial, 2016).

At the core of the Forum, a series of peer-led breakout sessions explore urgent topics in the field today, including “Accessibility,” led by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Curator Dean Daderko; “Race, Representation, Social Justice,” led by Independent Curator Candice Hopkins; “Labor Conditions,” led by Daniel W. Dietrich II Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (ICA) Amy Sadao; and “Critical Regionalism,” led by New Orleans Museum of Art Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Katie Pfohl; among others. This year the Forum will conclude with an Assembly bringing all participants together to further invest into the knowledge exchanged during the program and to foster regional professional networks and collaborations across the American cultural landscape.

“The Curatorial Forum is a rare opportunity for curators from across the U.S. to convene during EXPO CHICAGO, to share knowledge and experiences among peers and to discuss some of the most urgent questions faced by American art institutions today,” said ICI Executive Director Renaud Proch. “We are proud to continue this collaboration with EXPO CHICAGO, which last year brought together over 30 curators from 17 U.S. states.”

Alongside the Curatorial Forum, EXPO CHICAGO will present a panel on the /Dialogues stage located on the main floor of the fair, open to all EXPO CHICAGO patrons, on Saturday, September 29, 4:00 – 5:00pm. Titled On Immersion and Senses, the conversation will feature Forum participant Andria Hickey, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and Jo-ey Tang, Director of Exhibitions, Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art and Design, with Artist Sean Raspet (Jessica Silverman Gallery). The three panelists will trace how the non-concrete senses—scents, tastes and aural forms—are exhibited in space, and will navigate different approaches to displaying pieces whose primary sensual interaction deviates from purely sight. From perfume installations, to sonic experiences and edible artworks, the conversation will trace the impact of senses and immersive practice on recent exhibition histories.

In addition to the session leaders and keynote speaker, confirmed 2018 Curatorial Forum participants to date include:

Mara Baldwin | Handwerker Gallery Director
Andrea Barnwell Brownlee | Spelman College of Fine Art Director
Rachel Cook | On the Boards Artistic Director
Eric Crosby |Carnegie Museum of Art Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Ryan Dennis | Row House Projects Curator and Programs Director
Sally Frater | Ulrich Museum of Art Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Elizabeth Gessel | Museum of the African Diaspora Director of Public Programs
Marcela Guerrero | Whitney Museum of American Art Assistant Curator
Andria Hickey | Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Senior Curator
Henriette Huldisch | MIT List Visual Arts Center Director of Exhibitions and Curator
Naima Keith | California African American Museum Deputy Director and Chief Curator
Lucy Mensah | Detroit Institute of Arts Assistant Curator of Post-1950 Contemporary Art
Srimoyee Mitra | Stamps Gallery Director
Sofía Gallisá Muriente | Beta-Local Co-Director
Kim Nguyen | CCA Wattis Curator and Head of Programs
Karen Patterson | John Michael Kohler Arts Center Senior Curator
Gabriel Ritter | Minneapolis Institute of Art Curator of Contemporary Art
Joey Yates | Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft Curator

*For more information on all Curatorial Forum, visit

For a full /Dialogues schedule to date, visit

Curatorial Exchange

Building upon a pilot program initiated in 2013 by EXPO CHICAGO, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago and the Institut français, EXPO CHICAGO will officially launch the Curatorial Exchange program, an unprecedented international initiative developed in partnership with foreign consulates and cultural agencies. The Curatorial Exchange will offer select mid-career and established curators based around the world the opportunity to engage closely with their peers, convening as part of a four-day program that will include access to exhibitions, top private collections, artist studios, museums and institutions during EXPO CHICAGO.

Over the four days, visiting curators will have the opportunity to engage with the more than 135 international exhibitors and organizations participating in EXPO CHICAGO, fostering new insights on gallery programs and artists’ practices from around the world. In 2018, the Curatorial Exchange will include more than ten curators from China (supported by the China Arts and Entertainment Group), Denmark (supported by the Danish Ministry for Culture and Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs), France (supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago), Italy (supported by the Italian Cultural Institute) and The Netherlands (supported by the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York). To date, participating curators include Senior Research Fellow of the National Museum of China Chen Lyusheng (China); Curator of the China Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale Dr. Li Xiangning (China); National Art Museum of China’s Curator of the Curatorial and Research Department Liu Chunfeng (China); CAPC Bordeaux Chief Curator Alice Motard (France); Independent Curator and 89plus Europe, Africa and India Director Julie Boukobza (France); GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Chief Curator Alessandro Rabottini (Italy); MART Museum of Trento/Rovereto Director Gianfranco Maraniello (Italy); and Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht Curator of Contemporary Art Paula van den Bosch (The Netherlands).

Through a series of programs and trips, the initial pilot program culminated in several key projects, supported both by the Institut français, EXPO CHICAGO and the curators’ host institutions in France, including the Méthode Room Residency with Guillaume Désanges and Theaster Gates (2015–present); /Dialogues: Matthieu Poirier in conversation with Daniel Buren (2015); and most recently, Singing Stones, the Palais de Tokyo’s first off-site exhibition in the United States (2017).

*For more information on all participating curators, visit

Art Critics Forum

The third annual EXPO CHICAGO Art Critics Forum will once again highlight significant issues in arts journalism today, hosting leading national and international critics to discuss topics related to writing, authorship and publishing amongst their colleagues and peers. The 2018 Forum, “Criticism and the Image,” seeks to answer how the role of the image has shifted the output of criticism. Through the format of the visual essay, each of the panelists will take part in a short silent presentation before opening into a roundtable discussion. From the perspective of writer John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, through current disseminations of the image and its role as a vehicle for narrative in both online platforms and print publications, this program will consider how the image has either replaced or transformed the purpose of the written word.

Led by conceptual artist and e-flux Editor Julieta Aranda, the Forum will feature freelance writer and frequent contributor to Forbes, Galerie and The New York Times Ann Binlot; LEAP, The International Art Magazine of Contemporary China, Editor-in-Chief Robin Peckham; Art in America Editor William S. Smith; and Terremotto, Contemporary Art in the Americas, Editor Diego Del Valle Ríos. Presented in partnership with Art and America and Virgin Hotels Chicago.

The Art Critics Forum, open to all accredited press and EXPO CHICAGO guests, will take place Saturday, September 29, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on the /Dialogues stage. For more information on the program and participants, visit

For accreditation information, please visit

About Independent Curators International (ICI)

ICI produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. Established in 1975 and headquartered in New York, ICI is a hub that connects emerging and established curators, artists and art spaces, forging international networks and generating new forms of collaborations.

About the China Arts and Entertainment Group

China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) was founded in 2004 based on the merger of the China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) and the China International Exhibition Agency (CIEA). CAEG is the largest company of its kind in China in the field of entertainment and arts exhibition, with offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Lanzhou. It consists of nineteen wholly owned enterprises, two share-holding enterprises and one Stock Company, with China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) and China International Exhibition Agency (CIEA) as its core member companies. With a history of more than 50 years, both CPAA and CIEA are China’s largest suppliers as well as operators of Chinese performing arts and art exhibitions globally. Moreover, they are the sole agencies in China operating global business in stage entertainment and art exhibitions. For more than half a century, CPAA and CIEA have gained rich experiences and won acclaimed reputation by undertaking thousands of governmental cultural exchange projects and commercial stage performances and arts exhibitions.

About The Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy provides a platform for exchange and innovation between French and American artists, intellectuals, educators, students, the tech community and the general public. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the US including Chicago, the Cultural Services develops partnership and provides support focusing on six principal fields: visual and performing arts, literature, cinema, the digital sphere, French language and higher education.

About the Danish Ministry for Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Danish Ministry for Culture is responsible for initiatives involving support to creative arts, cultural heritage, archives, libraries, museums and higher education in the areas of art, music, film, theatre and dance. The ministry is also responsible for copyright, broadcasting, sport and international cultural cooperation.

The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs comprises the Ministry in Copenhagen and a global network abroad of Embassies, Consulates-General and Trade Commissions. The ministry is responsible for carrying out Danish foreign policy and international relations.

Together the two ministries have a collaboration agreement on the international cultural exchange and are core members of the Danish International Cultural Panel. The aim of the work is to contribute to initiatives that strengthen links between Denmark and the rest of the world through encounters with other cultures and countries. The International Cultural Panel’s contribution to artistic and cultural development will include relevant narratives about Denmark and the promotion of mutually inspiring, multi-genre collaboration between Danes and people from other countries. Denmark’s international cultural exchange program encompasses the arts and the cultural heritage sector. Artistic quality, originality and relevance are the main criteria for all projects and applications for funding which Denmark chooses to support, whether nationally or internationally.

About Dutch Culture USA, Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York

Dutch Culture USA is the division of the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ government that supports and promotes Dutch arts and culture in the US. It is the first point of contact for everything that relates to Dutch arts and culture and works closely with all major Dutch cultural organizations and their U.S. counterparts. Its main office is in New York City, where the Press and Cultural Affairs (PCZ) Section of the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands coordinates the cultural network in the US with the other Dutch missions in the U.S. network, including the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC and the Netherlands Consulates General in San Francisco, Chicago and Miami.

About the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago is part of a worldwide network of 83 Italian government offices established on all continents with the aim of promoting the Italian language and culture. One of five such offices in the United States (together with New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles), the Institute in Chicago also serves as the Cultural Office of the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago. Founded in 1985, the Institute has brought the finest examples of Italian culture to Chicago and the Midwest for over 30 years. Collaborating with the most prominent academic and cultural institutions in the Midwest, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents initiatives aimed at showcasing Italian excellence in various fields such as performing and visual arts, science, architecture, fashion, design, literature and film. Through the development of academic and cultural exchanges, grants for translation and publication of Italian books, the promotion of Italian studies, the Institute contributes to the cultural cooperation between Italy and the US.


EXPO CHICAGO 2018, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, hosting more than 135 leading International exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. Entering its seventh year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO offers diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU, IN/SITU Outside, EXPO VIDEO, the Curatorial Forum, the Art Critics Forum, Special Exhibitions, EXPO Sound and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project. In addition, EXPO CHICAGO continues to publish THE SEEN, Chicago's International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base.

The seventh edition will align with Art Design Chicago, and together with the Chicago Humanities Festival, Navy Pier and the Terra Foundation for American Art, will present the first-ever Hans Ulrich Obrist Marathon in the United States on Saturday, September 29.

For more information on EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (September 24–30, 2018) visit