This year's Artopolis
at the Chicago Merchandise Mart
was the biggest ever
with THREE full floors of display.
(300,000 square feet ?)
But there really was very little space
for un-temporary art.
The 12th Floor was filled with "Art Chicago",
which is supposed to include the most prestigious
national and international dealers
of contemporary art.
(but was really mostly galleries from Chicago)
The 7th Floor was filled with "Next",
which was billed as
"170 of the best young galleries from every major international center of art production."
(so if the 12th floor was supposed to be the big leagues,
the 7th Floor was AAA)
And the 8th Floor was split -- one side was the
"International Antiques Fair" (which had most of the
Palette and Chisel stuff) -- and "The Artist Project"
which was an indoor, juried street fair -- i.e. the
artists represented themselves.
In my humble opinion,
the 7th Floor was a vast, unforgiving desert
(without a single oasis)
while the juried street fair
was at least hit-or-miss.
'Art Chicago' seemed to have fewer
landscape, still-life, and figure paintings than ever before,
so all that was really left was the Antiques Fair
(plus those "Art Chicago" dealers who were selling historical art)
Why doesn't the Merchandise Mart
host an exhibit of traditional or non-cutting edge galleries ?
Unlike Art Chicago,
which is apparently a pale shadow of Art Miami,
it would be one-of-a-kind in the world.
And... I really doubt very much got sold off that 7th Floor,
except perhaps as materials to be recycled.
Not a single, current P&C member could be found anywhere,
but at least Pamela Johnson,
a recent member,
had rented a booth in the "Artist Project" show.
(it cost her $1500,
but she sold several paintings to a gallery,
so it was worth it)
was another living (though former)
P&C member who appeared at the show,
and her gallery was part of "Art Chicago" up on the 12th floor.
And all the other P&C artists in the show
were dead white men
(in the Antiques Fair)
(this was the same painting shown last year,
but I really like it -- it only costs about $2500
and here's a detail.
It's a plein air from Gay's Mill, Wisconsin,
home of a delicious apple pie,
and a sweet, quiet little floating stream.
J. Jeffrey Grant
And finally this view of Gloucester
(which was priced at $65,000)