EXPO CHICAGO: Cammie Staros, Daniel Gibson, Manal Kara, Summer Wheat, Trenton Doyle Hancock

Navy Pier in the Festival Hall | 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago IL 60611, 7 - 10 April 2022
Booth 235

VIP Preview (Invitation only):
Thursday, April 7, 12–6pm
Vernissage (Invitation only):Thursday, April 7, 6–9pm
Public Hours:
Friday, April 8, 11am–7pm
Saturday,April 9, 11am–7pm
Sunday, April 10, 11am–6pm

For EXPO Chicago 2022, Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present new works by Los Angeles-based artists Cammie Staros and Daniel Gibson, Gary, IN-based artist Manal Kara, New York-based artist Summer Wheat, and Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock.


Cammie Staros often mines images and artifacts from the Greco-Roman period that aestheticizes eroticism, violence, and victory. The artist anthropomorphizes her sculptures through references to armor and dress—often a gendered divide—as traditionally depicted on Greek figure vases. Staros’ fascination with classical antiquities lies both in the objects themselves, and with how those objects have come to represent an origin story of Western art history. Her works remind us that historical narratives are told through visual languages as much as written ones. Staros contributes her own symbology to a constellation of references from far-flung regions and eras, and entices her audiences to reexamine the role of historical objects.


Employing references to the natural world while speaking to hardships, resilience, and freedom, Daniel Gibson's paintings explore a lexicon of symbols that relate to his familial past and his identity as a Mexican-American. Growing up along the California border with Mexico, Gibson was confronted by the harsh realities of migration to America at an early age. In an effort to face the bleak nature of these grueling journeys, he turned to his imagination—often reshaping reality with fantasy. As a self-taught artist, he has developed his visual language and painting process through intuition and imagination that shifts between the genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Gibson revitalizes the world around him in painting, reverently returning to familiar symbols such as flowers, butterflies, figures, desert mountains, beaches, and seas. For the artist, his works are as much autobiographical as they are collective stories that document moments of struggle and celebration that would otherwise be lost to time.


With a keen interest and awareness of how they occupy an arts ecology, Manal Kara’s practice often begins outside of the studio. Often journaling their dreams, writing poetry, collecting photographs, and reading philosophy, the self-taught interdisciplinary artist constantly logs how the body comes to its present state of making. Kara’s sculptures are a by-product of a life lived. Citing French feminist writer, philosopher, and literary critic Hélène Cixous’s quote, “I have the inclination for avowal,” they continue with their own statement: “What I am engaged in is acts of wild, unbridled, desperate, orgiastic avowal. I am trying to reveal something, as much to myself as to anyone else.”


Favoring malleable structures and expressive color palettes, Summer Wheat’s tactile paintings merge process and narrative to ponder individual and collective human experience as seen through various moments in art history. Drawing on rich traditions from Egyptian relief sculptures to Modernist painting, Wheat’s textural art objects destabilize material boundaries and elevate quotidian life through scale and movement. Borrowing from the logic of medieval tapestries hung as symbols of authority, Wheat allows acrylic paint to ooze through fine wire mesh causing figures to emerge and dance upon lush, fiber-like surfaces that coalesce into heroic history paintings.


For almost two decades, Trenton Doyle Hancock’s elaborate works have interlaced personal memoir with the history of painting and pop-cultural imagery. Raised in a Southern Baptist household, the artist spent his childhood immersed in biblical subjects whose power can now be seen in his ongoing exploration of universal themes of good and evil. Infused with both personal and cultural mythologies, Hancock’s dense and subversive storylines employ tropes, ranging from comic-strip superhero battles to medieval morality, often introducing text as a key visual component that further complicates the narrative. Hancock’s fantastical Moundverse is a metaphorical space that reflects the everyday world that envisions characters that explore timeless polarities like good and evil alongside related issues of race, class, identity, politics, and social justice.



Cammie Staros (b. 1983, Nashville, TN) received her BA from Brown, Providence, in 2006 and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, in 2011. Staros has had solo exhibitions at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, Lefebvre & Fils, Paris, and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. The artist was included in the Craft Contemporary’s second clay biennial in Los Angeles. Staros’ work is featured in 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow, a survey of contemporary sculpture, authored by Kurt Beers and published by Thames & Hudson. Staros was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2020. Staros has a forthcoming museum-wide solo exhibition at the Pitzer College.


Daniel Gibson (b. 1977 Yuma, AZ) has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Almine Rech, New York, NY; New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA; Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, CA; LAX Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Mexicali Rose, Baja, Mexico. Recent group exhibitions include Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA; The Pit, Los Angeles, CA; Bozo Mag, Los Angeles, CA; and BBQLA, Los Angeles, CA. His works have been written about by WideWallsJuxtapoz, and Brooklyn Rail.


Manal Kara (b. 1986 Pennsylvania, based in Gary, IN) is a Moroccan-American self-taught interdisciplinary artist. Their work has been exhibited extensively in Chicago and New York as well as in Istanbul, Vienna, and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Conjectures, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; THE VIEWING-ROOM VS. THE ADORING-GAZE, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; and Song of the Other Worm, Prairie, Chicago, IL. They have participated in residencies at ACRE, Ox-Bow, September Spring at the Kesey Farm, and Project Freewill. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Super Dutchess, New York, NY and Hair + Nails, Minneapolis, MN.


Summer Wheat (b. 1977, Oklahoma City, OK) received a B.A. from the University of Central Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from Savannah College of Art and Design. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Smack Mellon, New York, NY; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City, OK. Wheat’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Peréz Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO. Wheat has received several awards and prizes including, the Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago in 2019 and the New York NADA Artadia Award in 2016.


Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) grew up in Paris, Texas. Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to participate in this prestigious survey. In 2014, his exhibition Skin & Bones: 20 Years of Drawing was presented at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, and traveled to Akron Art Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Ringling Museum of Art; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum; The Savannah College of Art and Design; The Weatherspoon Museum; The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania; Olympic Sculpture Park at the Seattle Art Museum; Fruitmarket Gallery; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In 2019, the artist presented his most comprehensive exhibition to date, Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass, at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA.


The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Baltimore Museum of Art; Columbus Museum of Art; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; High Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Trento, Italy; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Warhol Museum; and Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University.