Western Exhibitions is a contemporary art gallery that shows thought-provoking, and visually innovative
artists who work across most media, with an emphasis on personal narratives and cosmologies; LGBTQ
and feminist artists and issues; pattern, decoration and surface concerns; works on paper; and artist books.
Western Exhibitions presents unique artist projects, curated group shows and maintains a specific inventory
of artist books and multiples, gathered together as a sister entity and store, WesternXeditions.
Western Exhibitions was conceived in 2002 as a nomadic commercial gallery, staging shows at
apartments, lofts, other galleries and participating in the influential Stray Show. In 2004, director (and ex-
artist) Scott Speh first opened a bricks-and-mortar space on Chicago’s west side and after 10 years in the
West Loop, moved to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood in 2016.
Contact: Scott Speh, Owner and Director
Email | Website | Phone: 312-480-8390
In the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, de Kooning: An American Master, authors Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan recount how the famous painter once instructed each of the women he was sleeping with to ring his building’s doorbell with a different, specific sequence of rings so that he would know who was calling on him. This would help de Kooning decide whether or not he wished to see that lover, which was crucial if he was engaged in that moment with a different lover.
This anecdote is used as a starting point in the artist book, Willem de Kooning. (Geniuses are nothing if not complicated in their methods), which employs humor and a mix of fact and fiction in traveling down a rabbit hole of questions and theories about de Kooning, constructed identity, experimental alcoholism, gravy as an aphrodisiac and the myth of the male genius.