EXPO CHICAGO Initiates Public Art Programming With Artist-Designed Billboards

Works on 28 digital billboards will light up the Windy City.

Sanford Biggers, "Cheshire," (2016) for OVERRIDE, Chicago.

Beginning August 29, Chicagoans will have new reason to look up: EXPO CHICAGO, in partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, will unveil 28 digital billboards with works created by 15 local, national, and international artists, including Sanford Biggers, Caitlin Keogh, and Vik Muniz.

OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project” is set to run from August 29 through September 25, coinciding with the fifth iteration of EXPO CHICAGO at its long-held Navy Pier location (the fair’s dates are September 22–25). The initiative is the second foray into the public art realm for the younger fair, and mimics the efforts of other bigger, more-established art fairs, such as Basel’s city-based Parcours section, or the off-site commissions seen at Frieze Projects in London and New York.

“Each year we continue to expand our core programming and I am extremely proud of this initiative and our collaboration with DCASE and the City,” said EXPO CHICAGO President and Director Tony Karman in a statement.

Billboards will display existing works adapted for the project, as well as seven new works created specifically for the program. New pieces include billboards by Chicago-based Stephanie Brooks, German-Iranian artist Bettina Pousttchi, and Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s collaboration Toiletpaper.

Toiletpaper, "Untitled,"(2016). Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul.

Toiletpaper, “Untitled,”(2016). Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul.

Of particular note is a 2016 work by Rashid Johnson, titled Run Jesse Run, which references the accomplishments of track star Jesse Owens as well as civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. While it indeed has not been previously exhibited, the work was not created for OVERRIDE, but was instead made for an artist-run super PAC, “For Freedoms,” run by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman.

A full list of participating artists is below:

Alex Bag | team (gallery, inc.), New York, Los Angeles
Sanford Biggers | moniquemeloche, Chicago
Stephanie Brooks | Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
Tammy Rae Carland | Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco
Rashid Johnson | For Freedoms
Caitlin Keogh | Bortolami, New York
Sterling Lawrence | DOCUMENT, Chicago
Vik Muniz | Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
Iñigo Manglano Ovalle | Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica
Joyce Pensato | Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago
Angelo Plessas | The Breeder, Athens
Cheryl Pope | moniquemeloche, Chicago
Bettina Pousttchi | Buchmann Galerie, Berlin, Lugano
Toiletpaper | Galerie Perrotin, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul
Wendy White | VAN HORN, Düsseldorf; ANDREW RAFACZ, Chicago


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