Corbett vs. Dempsey LLC opened in its space on North Ashland Avenue in September 2004, founded by Jim Dempsey and John Corbett.
Corbett has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) since 1988. He was artistic director of Berlin JazzFest 2002, co-curated the Empty Bottle Jazz Series from 1996 to 2005, and was co-curator of Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn, and Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968 (Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, 2006; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 2009; Durham Art Guild, Durham, North Carolina, 2009). For over 20 years, Dempsey was the house manager and occasional programmer at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago. He is an alumnus of SAIC. Together Corbett and Dempsey have been involved in many independent curatorial projects, including Big Picture: A New View of Painting In Chicago (Chicago History Museum, 2007) and Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence (Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, 2010).
Corbett vs. Dempsey is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA).