Before the doors opened to the general public, EXPO Chicago 2019 hosted a collectors preview on Thursday, followed by the annual vernissage, at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. With 135 contemporary art and modern galleries from around the world in attendance competing for attention, the sheer volume of artwork can be overwhelming. So Newcity caught up with five attendees to find what work caught their eye.
Max Sheridan, Brooklyn
Where are you from?
I’m from Chicago originally, but I’ve been living in Brooklyn for the past three years. I’m a painter and photographer.
Walk me through the show. What’s catching your eye?
This Eddie Martinez piece (“BH Stack #26,” 2019, Timothy Taylor Gallery, New York/London). I think the scale is wonderful. I like the different tones of blue. He’s an artist I’ve been paying attention to for a while.
Would you buy it?
As an artist, [my funds] have to go into materials and the practice. I’m not at the collector stage. But this is something I’ve taken a picture of, something I’m going to refer back to for inspiration.
Emily Slabe, Chicago, IL
What are you doing here today?
I work for Straus Art Group in Chicago.
What’s your mission?
To talk to people, to meet people. And also, we represent a rather large estate. So as long as a lot of collectors are looking around for similar artists, I’m just kind of trying to get a hold of the market.
Have you seen any work that speaks to you personally?
Yeah, the cow artwork in front. [“Bridle,” Janine Antoni, 2000, Luring Augustine, Brooklyn]. It’s wonderful.
What did you like about it?
I’m kind of a cow fanatic. I was in Buenos Aires with my mom last year, and they have a lot of cow leather and cow fur fashion items. It’s become a bit of a fetish for me, so I was kind of excited by that.
Stephan Jones, Chicago and Los Angeles
What has stood out to you?
So far I’m only in the first row, but I did come across this one guy, Conrad Marca-Relli [at David Klein Gallery, Detroit], who is one of my favorite collage artists from the abstract impressionist period. I’ve always loved his work.
I just love collage. I like when you can see their hand in the work that they’re doing. There’s just something very soulful about the work he did. He worked a lot with canvas, which I find very interesting, versus cardboard or other kinds of textures. There’s a real subtlety to it.
Matt and Mandy Bercovitz with art dealer Karen Lennox, Chicago
What brought you out today?
Matt: I wanted to learn more about the art world and broaden our horizons, and be a little bit more sophisticated than just sports and comedy.
Any particular artist you want to see?
Matt: No, we’re looking to learn even more about the different artists and pieces to broaden our horizons. And we decided we could do no better than having Karen Lennox of Karen Lennox Gallery take us around on our first excursion to an art show.
Who’s your favorite artist?
Mandy: Andy Warhol.
Matt: A tie between Monet and Lichtenstein.
Karen: Oh, we can work with this!
Jennifer Keller, Chicago
What did you buy today at the EXPO Store?
I just bought these bookends, “The Founders.” It was a [Floating Museum] art exhibit that’s been traveling around Chicago and I haven’t been able to see it in person, but I noticed that they had a replica here, so I thought it would be perfect.
Any artwork at EXPO catch your eye?
Yeah, I want to come back tomorrow because it’s so much to take in. I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m overstimulated!”