Inaugural Expo 2012 to Blow Through the Windy City
Almost 120 years ago, the World’s Columbian Exposition—also known as the Chicago World’s Fair—brought Beaux Arts to the Windy City, along with the designs of Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmstead, treats like Cracker Jack, architectural innovations including the Ferris Wheel… and a serial killer named Dr. H. H. Holmes.
Now that spirit of artistic advancement (though not of crime) is updated for the 21st Century, in
Expo Chicago 2012
, the International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art and Design running September 20 to 23.
The inaugural fair will be held in Festival Hall at Navy Pier, on a show floor specially designed by
Studio Gang Architects
. MacArthur Fellow and principal and founder Jeanne Gang has embodied Chicago’s urban grid in the Expo’s floor plan, including clearly-sequenced gallery paths and a diagonal “avenue” for faster passage to amenities including a chef’s kitchen, dining rooms, and lounges.
(See what else Studio Gang is up to.
Exhibitors include international galleries showing work from Cy Twombly, Kiki Smith, Alice Neel, and hundreds more; as well as site-specific pieces such as “Garbage Wall,” a collaboration between the National Resources Defense Council and gallerist Rhona Hoffman that creates a new version of Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1970 masterpiece using waste sourced from neighboring rivers.
“So many fairs must work to overcome their physical locations,” says Gang. “This space is a perfect fit for this expo, and is in a great location in Chicago. I think it says something about the high-level quality and collective ambition for EXPO to have it at the Pier.