Merchandise Mart Cancels Art Chicago Fair; Lots of Faces, but No Sales

Fair organizers Merchandise Mart have cancelled the Next Art Chicago fair for scheduled to run April 27-29, 2012, citing poor sales and an attendant failure to attract top-flight galleries, reports Shia Kapos in her Chicago Business blog. MM will continue its art fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Basel, as well as its annual International Antiques Fair. Despite crowds of art-loving visitors, “Year in and year out, the dealers would come in and they wouldn’t have enough sales to support their efforts here,” said MM President Mark Falanga. “The caliber of the dealers and the artists they represent went from a high-end fair to a mid-level fair.” But hope springs eternal: Tony Karman, manager of the former fair, is starting up a new fair of his own on Navy Pier: Expo Chicago will debut this fall.

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