Art Chicago was an international contemporary art exhibition held each year in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1980 as an American version of the Art Basel contemporary art exposition. Art Chicago was the first art fair of its kind in North America. For years it was held in the long, barnlike sheds on Chicago’s Navy Pier. In 1989, the sheds on the pier were demolished and replaced by a mall, theaters, and entertainment venues, as well as the convention exhibition halls that now house the fair. During the 1990s, Art Chicago was considered the nation’s leading fair of 20th-century art, second only to Art Basel in Switzerland in global importance.