MINDFUL SAVAGE'S GUIDE TO MODERNISM
March 18 - May 14, 2016
1275 Minnesota Street
Anglim Gilbert Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works by Enrique Chagoya, “Mindful Savage’s Guide to Reverse Modernism”, the artist’s 10th exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition’s title comes from the newest ‘codex’ work from Chagoya’s acclaimed series of satirical interpretations of the ancient Mayan/pre-Columbian pictogram books. In the Spanish conquistadors’ campaign to squelch the indigenous culture nearly all examples of the colorful narratives on Amate paper were destroyed. In his homages to the lost books and language Chagoya brings his masterful repertoire of drawing, painting and collage. He coaxes together cultures, geographies, heroes and antiheroes across centuries and borders, lampooning present-day society.
“Mindful Savage’s Guide to Reverse Modernism” is a new hand-painted ‘codex’ book with multiple portrait versions of the artist assuming different identities. Representing ethnic stereotypes, the self-portrait guises address the borders--geographic, cultural, gender, religious, economic-- and ideological constructs that justify power imbalances among people.
Chagoya presents ‘Reverse Modernism’ as an exercise in turning the tables on Modernist appropriation, like Picasso’s incorporation of African masks into the cubist Mademoiselles D'Avignon, or Henry Moore’s revision of the Mayan rain God Chac-Mool into his seated female figures. Whether it be the Surrealists worship of ‘Primitive’ cultures as the creative "childhood of humanity", or Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs for homes in Los Angeles based on Mayan architecture, Chagoya plays with Modernism as the repurposed culture of former colonies.
Part of the exhibition will feature Chagoya’s new etchings based on Goya’s Caprichos. The "Recurrent Goya" suite depicts Goya time-traveling to the present. Placing himself on the other side of the appropriation topic, Chagoya fictitiously guides the master’s hand in portraying our contemporary world.
The exhibition marks Anglim Gilbert Gallery’s first exhibition at Minnesota Street Project, a new arts venue for the city of San Francisco.
Enrique Chagoya has exhibited his work at the gallery (formerly Gallery Paule Anglim) for over 25 years, and is currently Professor of Art at Stanford University. His work has been shown internationally and is represented in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the LA County Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library.