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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 didnít apply are walking around wishing that they had.  Furthermore a lot of dealers are already doing substantial business with one another.

if youíve followed along 2 years ago I
lambasted the showís 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 theyíre 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, ďthis isnít trendy like Basel.Ē He is so right.

Recently Iíve written about
Chicagoís midwestern work ethic and how it pervades the arts even if we donít 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 canít wait till tonight to see what itís like with the bevy of collectors who are coming.  I hope it doesnít change everything for me.  Itís been great walking around with no one there.

Iíve 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 Fitzpatrickís gorgeous, narrative exhibit at Architrouve, opens Friday night with copious hot dogs from Hot Dougís.  Itís going to be crowded.

Hyde Park Art Centerís 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.

Katharina Grosseís exhibit at the Renaissance Society, where she paints for paintís sake is exciting.

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

Itís good. Very good.

Say hi.  Iíll be out there a lot.
Paul Klein