EXPO Chicago Announces Move to Spring 2021

EXPO Chicago, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, recently announced that it will present its ninth edition from April 8–11, 2021 at Navy Pier. The decision to move the fair from its traditional September timeslot to this coming spring was the result of a collaborative decision-making process that EXPO Chicago conducted with galleries, collectors, institutional partners, and city officials. In response to the rapidly evolving social and business environments, the annual festival put in place a plan that allows exhibitors to provide non-binding deposits and, subsequently, a flexible payment schedule for those participating in the exposition. In addition, alongside expanding programming and initiatives, EXPO Chicago has pledged to make contributions to both the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and the New Art Dealers Association (NADA) from the proceeds of the exposition.

“Art fairs are collaborative enterprises in which the organizers, galleries, collectors and host city institutions, residents, and leadership work together towards a set of shared goals,” said President | Director of EXPO Chicago Tony Karman. “Moving our dates will enable our exhibitors and partners in Chicago to focus on reopening their galleries, launching their upcoming exhibitions, and begin the process of rebuilding so that together we can prepare for this important convening moment for the global art community in Chicago next April.”

EXPO Chicago artistic director Stephanie Cristello notes, “The EXPO Chicago team is continuing to develop opportunities to enhance the upcoming edition in ways that support the rebuilding of our partner galleries and institutions, and will be committing resources to their programming initiatives and providing additional support in new and innovative ways.”

Since its inception, EXPO Chicago has remained dedicated to supporting local, regional, and international arts communities through its role as a leading contemporary art exposition, presenting one of the highest quality platforms for curatorial programming and discourse alongside its participating galleries. With strong regional support throughout the Greater Midwest, both coasts, and maintaining a growing international commitment from Europe, Asia, and Latin America, EXPO Chicago will continue to leverage its strategic position in the center of the United States in the Spring of 2021.

“Chicago is proud of our leadership in hosting an annual international art fair for nearly 40 years—EXPO Chicago contributes greatly to the vibrant cultural and hospitality ecosystems of our great city,” said Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Mark Kelly. “We look forward to welcoming the international galleries, collectors and patrons from around the world to Chicago next April, and for all to experience the rich diversity that is a hallmark of our community.”

“Our cherished, nine-year partnership with EXPO Chicago is steadfast and has never felt stronger, with our mutual concern for the safety and health of Chicago’s creative community in mind,” said Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Madeleine Grynsztejn. “We hope the decision to reschedule this vital event to 2021 pays it forward to our artists, galleries, and supporters, and reveals the strength of collaboration and the power of art during difficult times.”

EXPO Chicago, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art features leading international galleries alongside one of the highest quality platforms for contemporary art and culture. Hosted within historic Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, EXPO Chicago’s ninth edition will present a diverse program, including /Dialogues (presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and Exchange by Northern Trust, an unrivaled talks program for both public and VIP audiences; IN/SITU, dynamic on-site installations highlighting large-scale sculpture, film, and site-specific work; and major public art initiatives, including IN/SITU Outside, public art installed throughout Chicago Park District locations, and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project, a curated selection of international artists throughout the city’s digital billboard network. The EXPO Chicago program also features an unprecedented commitment to host curatorial initiatives during the exposition, including the Curatorial Forum in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), and the Curatorial Exchange, which partners with foreign agencies and consulates to expand the exposition’s global reach.  

For more information about upcoming EXPO Chicago programming, visit