EXPO Chicago 2024.
Photo: Courtesy EXPO CHICAGO

6 Standout Artists at Expo Chicago 2024

See what caused a stir at the 11th edition of the fair, which took palce from April 11 – 14 at the Navy Pier

EXPO CHICAGO—now one of the Frieze art fairs—returned to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall in Chicago with more than 170 established and emerging galleries from 29 countries and 75 cities. Taking place April 11 – 14, 2024, the 11th edition of the Midwest’s favorite art fair opened to a lively crowd of celebrities, including Chance the Rapper, and such prominent collectors as John and Sharon Hoffman, Susan and Michael Hort, and Ron Pizzuti.

EXPO Chicago 2024. Photo: Courtesy EXPO CHICAGO

“Once again, EXPO CHICAGO gathered the local, regional, and international arts community in Chicago for its 11th edition and first within the Frieze family,” Tony Karman, President and Director of EXPO CHICAGO, told Galerie. “We’re thrilled about this year’s programmatic elements, including the Curatorial Forum, which has welcomed over 200 curators to the fair. Additionally, this year’s EXPOSURE section is central and exceptionally robust due to a newly implemented floor plan, benefiting our collector base by introducing them to younger galleries and emerging artists.”

From established artists in the Galleries and Profiles sections of the fair to emerging talents from the EXPOSURE sector, these are the standout artworks.

Anthony Goicolea, High Water, (2024). Photo: Courtesy the artist and Galerie Poggi, Paris

1. Anthony Goicolea at Galerie Poggi

A contemporary master in a variety of media, Anthony Goicolea made a name for himself as a young artist working with staged photography and film in the early 2000s and then expanded his practice to drawing, sculpture, and painting in the following years. The poetic, water-themed paintings in his solo presentation for the gallery’s two-person booth offer an overview of the Brooklyn-based artist’s recent narrative works. Inspired by personal history, folklore, and photography—particularly the surrealist process of solarization, which reverses the tones and strangely alters the light and shadows—figurative paintings like High Water tenderly transmit issues of migration, alienation, and identity.

Grace Lynne Haynes, Twin Monarchs & Defiant Sisters, They Are Not Made for the New Normal, (2024). Photo: Courtesy Luce Gallery, Torino

2. Grace Lynne Haynes at Luce Gallery

Distinguished for painting two covers for The New Yorker magazine while still an MFA student at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Grace Lynne Haynes wants to challenge the unfound notion that black represents evil by flaunting how darkness can be positive and pure through the strong female subjects in her paintings. A 2019 artist-in-residence at Kehinde Wiley Black Rock in Senegal and featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30 in Art and Style” in 2020, the California-born painter represents Black women in moments of rest and leisure, disputing negative stereotypes. In a new series of colorful pastel-on-paper paintings presented in a one-person show in the gallery’s booth, Haynes portrays female figures dancing, reclining, and congregating in surreal, spiritualistic settings.

Zanele Muholi, Thatha konke I, Sheraton Hotel, Brooklyn, (2019). Photo: Courtesy Southern Guild, Cape Town and Los Angeles

3. Zanele Muholi at Southern Guild

A standout artist in “The Milk of Dreams” exhibition at the 2022 Venice Biennale and the subject of a current survey show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, visual activist Zanele Muholi is celebrated for their black-and-white self-portraits (shot with a variety of symbolic props) that deal with race, gender and sexuality and their documentation of the Black LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa. The artist’s Thatha konke I, Sheraton Hotel, Brooklyn photograph is part of her seminal Somnyama Ngonyama, which consists of self-portraits taken in costumes made from found materials in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa between 2014 and 2017. Employing conventions of classical portraiture and fashion photography, the image shows Muholi innocently biting a sheer piece of silk fabric with a delicate border of crocheted flowers like a bride on her wedding night. Ironically, “thatha konke” translates from Zulu to English as “take it all.”

Xavier Daniels, Wishful Thinker, (2024). Photo: Courtesy Richard Beavers Gallery, Brooklyn

4. Xavier Daniels at Richard Beavers Gallery

A Miami-born, Atlanta-based artist who earned his master’s degree from Savannah College of Art & Design, Xavier Daniels paints semi-realistic portraits of young black men, attempting to capture their inner lives. Influenced by his brotherhood experiences at Morehouse College, where he received his BA degree, and his interim career as a firefighter, Daniels paints black male figures to explore the vast variety of issues that they face. Manipulating and abstracting the figure of the youthful subject in his painting Wishful Thinker, the artist creates a psychological portrait of a young man whose mind appears to be out of sync with his body. His tilting, thought-consumed head seems to be full of ideas, but they may be more than his resting body—or societal pressures—will allow him to achieve.

Amir H. Fallah, Between All the Words, My Voice is But a Whisper, A Hum, (2023). Photo: Courtesy the artist and Nazarian / Curcio, Los Angeles

5. Amir H. Fallah at Nazarian / Curcio

Celebrated for his unique approach to portraiture, Amir H. Fallah has made a name for himself not by painting incredible likenesses of people but by revealing who they are through the objects that they possess. Exploring issues of family, identity, and representation, the Tehran-born, Los Angeles-based artist has made several series of colorful, collage-like paintings in which the sitters are shrouded in patterned fabrics amid their most prized possessions. Beginning with commissioned paintings of collectors who collaborated with the artist on the choice of objects, Fallah’s portraiture subsequently delved into the lives of immigrants in Southern California.

Since 2019, however, Fallah’s practice has taken a turn toward the appropriation of found images—which he has been compiling in a database—to explore his personal history. The painting Between All the Words, My Voice is But a Whisper, A Hum from his solo booth show revisits childhood memories of the Iran-Iraq war to address the way identity and culture are staged and presented to secure systems of power and oppression—advising us to be watchful when placing faith.

Misha Japanwala, Topographies, (2024). Photo: Courtesy Hannah Traore Gallery, New York

6. Misha Japanwala at Hannah Traore Gallery

A Pakistani artist and fashion designer, Misha Japanwala was born in London, raised in Islamabad, and schooled in New York at Parsons School of Design. Exploring issues of bodily autonomy, gender-based violence, sexuality, moral policing, and censorship, she molds the body to create casts that are worn as sculptural garments. Named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia” list in 2021, her pieces have been worn by Cardi B, Lizzo, Gigi Hadid, and Lupita Nyong’o and photographed for and written about in The New York Times, Vice, and Vogue. In her one-person booth exhibition, “Topographies,” Japanwala began the series with an open call for individuals to have their bodies cast, resulting in sculptures of a group of South and South East Asian women and non-binary people, ranging from 20 to 50. Documenting bodies with natural rolls, lumps, and fat, she has created colorful casts of the human form that encourage us to collectively identify and emancipate shame.

Cover: EXPO Chicago 2024.
Photo: Courtesy EXPO CHICAGO


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