Apr 14, 2023 - Things to Do

Best Day Ever with Expo Chicago director Tony Karman

Photo courtesy of Expo Chicago

This weekend, Expo Chicago returns for its 10th anniversary at Navy Pier.

What's happening: The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (Expo Chicago for short) welcomes hundreds of galleries, art dealers and art lovers. Some 36 countries and 90 cities will be represented.

Context: Karman and his team have built the event to rival Art Basel and La Biennale Paris. Expo Chicago is an outgrowth of Art Chicago, which started in 1980 but folded in 2011.

What they're saying: "We have come far in 10 years," Expo Chicago director Tony Karman tells Axios.

  • "We've reestablished Chicago's place on the international art fair calendar."

Picks: Karman tells Axios he is excited about Derrick Adams' "Funtime Unicorn" installation at Navy Pier.

He also shares what his perfect day in Chicago looks like — when he's not planning one of the biggest art fairs on the continent.

Photo of an exhibition hall with people looking at art
Photo courtesy of Expo Chicago

🍳 Breakfast: "I am going to pick an ideal Sunday morning — Windy City Café on Chicago Ave. My order: feta, spinach and onion omelet, with a biscuit and honey, coffee and grapefruit juice."

📻 Morning activity: "WFMT playing, the New York Times, a fire if it's winter, or outside on our deck if it's summer, with my wife and two cats. Perfection."

🏃‍♂️ Lunch: "Sorry to be boring, but I usually pass on lunch."

🏋️‍♀️ Afternoon activity: "Always an afternoon or early-evening workout. That is my church."

🧑‍🍳 Dinner: "My wife and I love to cook, so we usually plan our meals in the morning, shop, cook and enjoy. I'll pick a summer evening, so we will be dining al fresco."


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