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Expo Chicago Postpones 2021 Edition

Expo Chicago Postpones 2021 Edition

ART NEWS

Expo Chicago Postpones 2021 Edition

Expo Chicago has announced that it is postponing its in-person art fair, planned for April, becoming the first international art fair to push back a 2021 IRL event. No new dates have been announced for the fair, originally scheduled to take place April 8–11 at the Windy City’s Navy Pier, but organizers have reportedly discussed various dates with the pier operators, including several sets in July, and September 23–26, which would have been its typical window prior to the advent of Covid-19.The virus is responsible for the setback, with positive test rates surging to 10.3 percent in Chicago this month, and the US recording an overall 38 percent rise in cases over the past two weeks despite the introduction of two FDA-approved vaccines, the rollout of which has been unexpectedly slow.Expo Chicago will offer a digital experience in lieu of the April fair, the details of which are yet to be announced, and will host an online symposium, “Alternate Assembly: Environmental Impact in the Era of Pandemic,” on January 21–23, featuring artists Carolina Caycedo, Raqs Media Collective, Oscar Tuzaon, Sean Raspet, Hương Ngô, and Elizabth Elizabeth Hénaff, as well as Independent Curators International. The symposium will address art’s role in tackling climate change during a pandemic.In May 2020, Expo Chicago was the first US fall fair to push its in-person event to 2021, making the call early enough to spare its exhibitors financial pain, rendering deposits nonbinding for those who had already made them.Tony Karman, Expo Chicago’s president and director, remains positive about the future of the event and of art fairs in gereral. “I feel very optimistic that as vaccines are distributed and we get a greater handle on the pandemic, there will be a yearning from the art world to travel,” Karman told Artnet News. “There’s no question that every fair in the world will benefit from an almost-likely energized audience.”

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