The Best Buys at Expo Chicago

How much did the art at Expo Chicago go for? Here’s a roundup of six local pieces.

Now that the dust has settled from Expo Chicago’s debut at Navy Pier, we’re all wondering: how successful was the much-anticipated art fair? According to several local galleries, the answer is very. Every gallery we spoke to confirmed that they had a lot of foot traffic at their booths during the day (an estimated 27,000 people toured Navy Pier throughout the weekend) and many pieces sold by the end of the weekend.

Here are some of the highlights of the pieces sold by local galleries (all prices are retail):

Theaster Gates Civil Tapestries

Civil Tapestries, Flag Series
Theaster Gates
Kavi Gupta Gallery
$125,000
Gates, an artist based on Chicago’s South Side, was the star of the show for Kavi Gupta gallery. His four works (two sculptures, two tapestries) were instantly claimed by renowned international buyers. “We don’t really put it up his work and just sell it to anybody,” Gupta said.

Tony Tasset The Horror

The Horror
Tony Tasset
Kavi Gupta Gallery
$45,000
Tony Tasset’s new works (this and Bear, which sold for $55,000) were “extremely successful,” Gupta said.

Opal Antonia Gurkovska

Opal
Antonia Gurkovska
Kavi Gupta Gallery
$11,000
“This was a surprise for us, we just started working with a young painter, Antonia Gurkovska,” Gupta said. “I think we sold 24 of her pieces—unprecedented. We could have sold double that amount, everyone wanted her work.”

Jacob Hashimoto

Fantasies of the Beautiful Sleeper
Jacob Hashimoto
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
$60,000
The 6x6-ft piece was actually not featured at Navy Pier, but interested buyers visiting Expo made their way to Rhona Hoffman Gallery in the West Loop where Hashimoto’s Fantasies is installed.

Todd Chilton

Blue Green Ramps and Flags
Todd Chilton
$3,400 retail
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
The painting on linen by the Chicago-based Chilton was a big draw for Hoffman’s gallery.

Portrait of Jessica Mickalene Thomas

Portrait of Jessica
Mickalene Thomas
$55,000
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Thomas was one of our favorite finds at the fair. Several of her pieces were sold, from her $17,000 photographs to this $55,000 painting.

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