Art Letter


4/26/07

ArtChicago in particular and Artropolis in general are fantastic.

After walking around the fairs for two days watching dealers and artists install artwork it is entirely safe to say that it very well may be the best art fair ever seen in Chicago.  Opening with a preview for collectors tonight, it is absolutely amazing how wonderful ArtChicago is. It is surpassing the expectations of all the excited dealers in attendance, and those who didn't apply are walking around wishing that they had.  Furthermore a lot of dealers are already doing substantial business with one another.

if you've followed along 2 years ago I
lambasted the show's old organizers for doing Chicago a disservice.  Last year we were appreciative that there was a show at all. And this year the Mart has pulled out all the stops and the 5 shows they're presenting rock.

Perhaps you recall that I loathed
Miami Basel last December with all the hyperbole, bling and fake breasts. This morning I walked around the fair with Swiss (formerly Chicago) artist Mark Staff Brandl who is exhibiting at The Artist Project fair next door and the first words out of his mouth were, "this isn't trendy like Basel." He is so right.

Recently I've written about
Chicago's midwestern work ethic and how it pervades the arts even if we don't know it. At ArtChicago and the exciting Bridge Fair you can see that it is about the work.  Really good, really solid, well executed art dominates. It makes me think a lot of prescient dealers deduced what to bring for a Chicago audience.

I can't wait till tonight to see what it's like with the bevy of collectors who are coming.  I hope it doesn't change everything for me.  It's been great walking around with no one there.

I've tried to
list some of the highlights (actually a decent compendium) to focus on some of the great things that are happening this weekend.  At the top of my list are:

Tony Fitzpatrick's gorgeous, narrative exhibit at Architrouve, opens Friday night with copious hot dogs from Hot Doug's.  It's going to be crowded.

The
Hyde Park Art Center's 24 hour extravaganza starting at noon Saturday features the incredible Juan Angel Chavez and a slew of other exemplary local art talent, like Diana Guerrero-Macia, Ken Fandell, Duncan MacKenzie, Deb Sokolow, and CarianaCarianne.  Just go.

Sunday's
Katharina Grosse's exhibit at the Renaissance Society, where she paints for paint's sake is exciting.

This is it.  The Mart has created Artropolis.  Artropolis has united the art energies in the city.

It's good. Very good.

Say hi.  I'll be out there a lot.
Paul Klein