The epic Expo Chicago (13-17 Sep) kicks off the autumn art season in mighty fine style with 135 international galleries under one roof. Running alongside the event is a lively program of daily guided tours, performances and screenings, plus a series of panel discussions and conversations co-hosted with School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

If you’re in town for the Expo, be sure to beeline to the installation of Italian artist and designer Gaetano Pesce, hosted by our very own The Peninsula Chicago. And should you have an appetite for yet more visual stimulation, then the city’s River North Gallery District is your honeypot, with over 20 superb showrooms in one area. We round-up a few of the leading lights.


Andrew Bae Gallery

Good for: Asian Upcomers
Andrew Bae’s primary ties are to Korea and Japan, and this River North stalwart has earned a stellar rep among museums and collectors for its expertise in Asian contemporary art. At this intimate space, the spotlight is shone on emerging, cutting-edge creatives across fine prints, paintings, sculptures and photography. Young June Lew’s ‘Solo Exhibition: New Work’ is showing from 8th September.


Hilton-Asmus Contemporary

Good for: Cross-cultural Programs

Like it says on the tin, the focus at owner and curator Arica Hilton’s gallery is current and modern-day works. A trained architect and designer, Turkish-born, Chicago-dwelling Arica combines her work as a gallerist with interests in publishing, interior design and poetry – her polymathic character is reflected in the mixed-media exhibits on display. Pop along to see a diverse array of painting, glass, fibre art, sculpture and photography by new and renowned Chicago-based artists, plus names from Asia and Europe.


Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Good for: Emerging Global Talent

Back in 1976 Zolla/Lieberman opened with a show by then unknown artist Deborah Butterfield and, in doing so, gave birth to the River North Gallery District. Since its modest opening, this granddaddy of the city’s art scene has nurtured the careers of many top talents, and continues to show cutting-edge, practising artists from across the globe.


Richard Gray Gallery

Good for: The Big Guns

Now Dicky ain’t cheap, but his 50+ year-old gallery is worth a gander for its roster of superstars from European masters like Picasso, Matisse and Miró, to prominent contemporary names such as Jaume Plensa, David Hockney and Alex Katz. With a second gallery in West Town Chicago and a third in New York, Richard Gray is established as one of the leading dealers in mod and contemporary American and European art.

Want more? You’re insatiable… Hop along to one of the excellent River North Gallery Tours, held every Saturday morning by the Chicago Gallery News. Join the crew for lively conversation and insight into current exhibits and artists on view.


Expo Chicago / Navy Pier / 600 E Grand Ave / expochicago.com

Andrew Bae Gallery / 300 W Superior St / River North / +1 312 335 8601 / 10am-6pm Tue-Sat / andrewbaegallery.com

Hilton-Asmus Contemporary / 716 N Wells St / River North / +1 312 475 1788 / 10am-6pm Tue-Sat / hilton-asmus.com

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery / 325 W Huron St / River North / +1 312 944 1990 /

10.30am-5.30pm Tue-Fri, 11am-5.30pm Sat / zollaliebermangallery.com

Richard Gray Gallery / 38/F / 875 N Michigan Ave / Gold Coast / +1 312 642 8877 / 10am-5.30pm Mon-Thu, 10am-4pm Fri / richardgraygallery.com

River North Gallery Tours / +1 312 649 0064 / 11am Sat / chicagogallerynews.com