Installation Views

Press Release

Isimeme “Easy” Otabor announces the official opening of new Chicago gallery, Anthony Gallery, 470 N. Milwaukee Ave. 60654 with its first exhibition, 1988 . In anticipation of the opening, the gallery held two pre-opening shows in late 2019: Unite Through Culture and Festival: A Visual Exploration of Contemporary Hip-Hop & Music. Marking the first public exhibition in the space, 1988 is a group show featuring 26 new works from 19 established artists from around the world including Aaron Johnson, Ana Benarova, Boyang Hou, En Iwanmura, Erik Parker, Erin M. Riley, Dr. Woo, John Rivas, Koichi Sato, Matt McCormick, Nina Chanel Abney, Ryan T. Christian, Sayre Gomez, Sean Gannon, Sterling Ruby, Tony Lewis, Tyrell Winston, Wes Lang and Yue Wu.

The exhibition features a combination of paintings and sculpture, with many of the artists involved exhibiting in Chicago for the first time with this show. In line with Otabor’ affinity for history as well as the reference to Chicago’s last NBA-All Star, each work on view was inspired and informed by the ambiance and energy of the year 1988.

A self-taught collector turned gallery owner, Otabor has taken a unique approach to his curatorial practice, leveraging relationships with a close-knit network of creatives including Project Manager Alicia Gutierrez, the Anthony Gallery team and the artists highlighted to create a one-of-a-kind gallery experience for Chicagoans and travelers alike. “While much of my work has been an ode to a place (my hometown of Chicago), I wanted the gallery’s first public show to evoke feelings of a time that people can remember and relate to,” said Otabor. “By tapping such distinguishable artists from different parts of the world, I’m excited to share what each of them brought to this theme with their works.”

Select guests were offered a preview of the show during an opening reception on Wednesday, February 12th from 6 – 9pm, with an open house commencing on February 13th. The exhibition will then be open to the public starting February 17th, with gallery visits by appointment only.


Nina Chanel Abney, Ana Benaroya, Ryan T. Christian, Sean Gannon, Sayre Gomez, Boyang Hou, En Iwamura, Aaron Johnson, Wes Lang, Tony Lewis, Matt McCormick, Erik Parker, Erin M. Riley, John Rivas, Sterling Ruby, Koichi Sato, Tyrrell Winston, and Dr. Woo.

Artwork Images