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At the Satellites: From Fountain to EDITION

Aside from the occasional run in with your favorite curators and artists, or being in the presence of work you’ve only seen in books or online, art fairs can be business as usual–you’ve see one, you’ve seen them all. But as a testament to the energy that Expo Chicago is conjuring, some interesting satellite fairs have newly sprung up this year and by doing so have offered a fresh addition to the buzz around Navy Pier and the programs attached to it. There was a lot to see, but the following are some pieces, performances and booths that made me pause.

S & J Projects | Fountain Art Fair

Based on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, S & J Projects featured the work of LNY, Daniel Patrick Helmstetter, Todd Pavlisko, Shoshanna Weinberger and Hiroshi Kumagai.

Hiroshi Kumagai (left) and LNY (right).

Daniel Patrick Helmstetter (left) and Hiroshi Kumagai (right).


Frozen Charlotte Press | Fountain Art Fair

Frozen Charlotte Press is a Chicago-based project by artist Raeleen Kao that features delicate and beautifully laborious graphite and multi-plate intaglio works on paper.

Zach Mory.


Carter & Citizen | EDITION Chicago

Hailing from Los Angeles, Carter & Citizen‘s booth was clean, simple, smart and approachable. I was immediately drawn in by the poetically balanced pieces of April Street who uses sharp angles and a combination of delicate and weighty materials to create minimalistic yet striking pieces.


Industry of the Ordinary | Fountain Art Fair

Collaborative performance duo Industry of the Ordinary and crew arrived at Mana Contemporary at dusk after walking “The Harvest”, a bust of President Barack Obama made entirely of butter, from the Chicago Cultural Center to Fountain Art Fair.  The bust was originally constructed in late 2012, and now is discolored, decaying and cracking, yet still in one solid piece.

“The Harvest” by Industry of the Ordinary arrives at Mana Contemporary.

“The Harvest”, Industry of the Ordinary, 2013. (Originally created in 2012)


Cinqunquatre | Fountain Art Fair

Cinqunquatre is a printmaking studio and design collaborative based in the Mile end of Montreal. Jason Cantoro’s screen prints mix urban landscape with larger than life characters and creatures resulting in a beautiful layering of color and wild images.

Jason Cantoro screen prints at Cinqunquatre.


Susan Giles at The Mission | EDITION Chicago

Susan Giles‘ work begs you to look up. Perusing the booths at EDITION Chicago it would be easy to miss her small architectural sculptures as they project out of the ceiling beams and gallery pillars.

The Fountain Van | Fountain Art Fair (and various places around the city)

The Fountain van was painted and repainted throughout the weekend. Maintaining a color palette of black and white, the van acted as the canvas for an ongoing collaboration by several noteworthy Chicago artists.

Image credit: Corey Hagberg.

Outside of Gallery Bar Chicago during the Art Nerd Launch Party, September 19, 2013. Image credit: Sixty Inches From Center.


Max Kauffman at Vertical Gallery | Fountain Art Fair

Recently planting roots in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, Vertical Gallery is committed to showing a mix of urban, contemporary and street art. A favorite in their booth at Fountain were the watercolor and ink drawings of Max Kauffman.

Max Kauffman, “Brokedown Palace” (detail), Watercolor and ink on rives bfk19, 2013.


Abryant Gallery | EDITION Chicago

Why so serious? The itinerant Abryant Gallery offered a blend of experimental works that set it apart from your typical art fair booth. Featuring the work of Jessie Mott, Sarah & Joseph Belknap, Diana Gabriel and more, this booth was fun, tactile and interactive–like this live sculpture by Sam Jaffe.

Sam Jaffe, “Pre-Shrunk,” yarn on wood panel, 2012.

Drum Kit Swing Set | Fountain Art Fair

Making its rounds from Art Prize in Grand Rapids to Chicago (through Packer Schopf Gallery), the Drum Kit Swing Set by Dave Ford greeted everyone at the door of Fountain Art Fair.  To see it in action, click here.

Originally from New York, Fountain Art Fair took place September 20 – 22, 2013 at Mana Conptemporary in south Pilsen. EDITION Chicago took place September 20 – 22, 2013 at Chicago Artists Coalition.

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