Art Fairs Converge on Chicago go run flee the city

For those of you trapped in Bridgeport and coasting on the anoxic fumes of Versionfest, five days in and already the hum of too much art exposure jangling your nerves, set course for overdose. Hell, if you’re a fan of art at all, prepare for the real shit to hit you. May 1st is judgement day, the perfect storm, when three (or four, or five, or fuck it?) art fairs strike and overlap and panicked dealers wring hands and each booth and each piece slice the finest layer from the eyes of fans and collectors till all mill about hollow socket and wailing, burnt out and blind entirely to art. Its art fair season in Chicago! Lets start the slog with the already-been goings on.

Versionfest is this year’s Bridgeport art festival, featuring dozens of participating artists, some really well aranged programming during the days including skillsharing workshops, film, and music; and of course the ever-popular Art Parade. This Parade, appreciated for its classical form and conservative approach, is a kind of Chicago Marathon for the arts. Expect to see academic dancing, local highschool art choirs, shriners outfut with custom zippery caps by Kat Chow, and of course more! Bring the kids!

Tonight’s event, a film and music show titled Electronique Night, will be held at Sonotheque @ 9:00 PM, and is worth hitting up just to see  J+J+J.

Tomorrow, I’d skip the art entirely and see Lord of the Yum Yum at Kaplan’s Liquors and Lounge (960 W 31st Street) @ 11 PM. The less you know the better!

And don’t miss the Version booth at NEXT, which will feature Mike Rea’s baller sculpture, “Your Lust Will Hold You Up, Float on the Dragons Breath” (hyped on this very blog and very good despite) as well as a number of other artists. I’m very much looking forward to this! Also, check out this picture I found while looking up the artists who will be at that booth. Can you guess who made it? 

More on the Versionfest as I have the opportunity to actually set foot in Bridgeport.



While attempting to pun off of the title of this show, I wrote the word Next so many times that I’m convinced we’re all spelling it wrong. Taking place on the 7th floor of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, the NEXT art fair will run parralel to Art Chicago as the Artropolis (a word I’ve always been convinced sprang from the mind of a fucking child) venue for emerging artists, experimental artists, and other people who aren’t making very much money at this.

This year looks to be the best yet, with an exhibitor list packed not with the best and brightest of emerging Chicago art, but of all-coast American art and a really solid international collection of exhibitors too. The slight possibility that I may actually see things like the following quakes me toe to ball.

Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, Rabbit 2007

By sheer coincidence I’ll be living inside the Merchandise Mart while this fair is being set up, squatting a lavatory and eating what I can find in the bins, so I may be able to put up some sneak peeks before the official preview on the 30th. Wish me luck.


And then there’s Art Chicago! Bring the golden wallet you bought at this year’s SOFA and fill your up your summer loft with 20th century relics.


That’s all the preview I have for now, but we at Chicago Art Review will all be piping rocks trying to keep a bead on the events these next two weeks in Chicago. Check back soon for more!

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