UChicago alumni, faculty, staff among artists featured at EXPO CHICAGO: Exhibitions and large-scale installations mark a significant presence at the international art event

September 12, 2014

At this year’s EXPO CHICAGO, an annual international exposition of contemporary and modern art happening September 18–21 at Navy Pier, “The University of Chicago Headquarters” will represent several UChicago organizations that offer contemporary art exhibitions and programs, including the Department of Visual Arts, Logan Center Exhibitions, and the Smart Museum of Art, as well as the Arts + Public Life initiative and the Department of Art History. 

Beyond “Headquarters,” several UChicago affiliates are involved with EXPO through special exhibitions, installations, and discussions. Find a sampling below.


One of more than 25 Special Exhibitions at EXPO, “The University of Chicago Headquarters” foregrounds the work of two alumni artists, Anaïs Daly, MFA’13, and Katherine Harvath, MFA’13. Using a selection from the University of Chicago Press's recent publications, Daly considers the modalities of display as they relate to sculptural form. Harvath looks into Navy Pier’s transformation from a militaristic to recreational venue, adding historical layers of site-specificity to her investigation of painting as a political form. The exhibition is organized by UChicago Department of Visual Arts' Open Practice Committee Coordinator Zachary Cahill and Logan Center for the Arts’ Program Curator Monika Szewczyk.

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, a professor in Department of Visual Arts and director of Arts + Public Life at UChicago, will be showcased in the WhiteChapel Gallery’s exhibition. Gates will also curate Retreat, an exhibition exploring the ways in which artists of color perform an act of withdrawal to gain a position of strength and perspective when communicating through art.

The Renaissance Society, a non-collecting museum of contemporary art located on campus, will present a special exhibition of Raymond Pettibon’s Thinking of You, a collection of unique, hand-altered books that detail the artist’s intimate mediations on the many moods of a particularly delicate motif—the phallus.  


Jessica Stockholder, professor and chair of UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts, responds to the specific architecture of the fair with a 50-foot-high installation, Once Upon a Time. Spectators are invited to climb the work to take a fractured view through the artwork over the exhibited works and gallery booths. 

Stockholder’s work is presented as part of EXPO’s IN/SITU program, which showcases large-scale installations and site-specific works by leading artists. A public outdoor installation by alumni Christopher Wool, LAB'72, will be included in IN/SITU through a partnership with the Chicago Park District.

John Preus, MFA’05, will present Social Furniture, an installation that ranges throughout the exhibition hall. Objects rendered from furniture salvaged from the recently closed Chicago Public Schools, Social Furniture inquires about the depth of the divestment in the public sphere, as demonstrated by the closing of 54 public schools in 2013.

Erik L. Peterson, a Chicago-based public artist, sculptor, and curator who is also a staff member at the Smart Museum of Art, will show a 40 foot-long neon sculptural installation entitled Seep that hangs in the entrance to Navy Pier’s iconic festival hall.


EXPO/Dialogues offers panel discussions, conversations and provocative artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals on the current issues that engage them. Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at The Renaissance Society, will speak with internationally noted conceptual artist Ryan Gander. 

Canice Prendergast, Professor of Economics at UChicago’s Booth School, participates in a panel discussion involving a prominent collector, a gallerist, an academic, a lawyer, and a journalist examining the challenges of art collecting and new shifts in the market and how to access the market in a fast paced world.