The Americans

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Kundan Singh, Yuba City, 2001 © Gauri Gill
The Americans

78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
October 4th, 2008 - December 28th, 2008

Michigan Ave/Downtown
Mon-Thu 9-7; Fri-Sat 9-6; Sun 10-6


Photographed across the United States from 2000 to 2007, Gauri Gill’s exhibition documents Indian communities as it has settled across the country. In rural areas, small towns, and big cities, Asian communities have both retained their traditional signifiers of Indian identity and merged within a larger American plurality. The resulting color photographs are simultaneously humorous, poignant, ironic, and beguiling. Gill’s portrayal of her subjects and their lives emerges through her strict attention to detail and sympathetic juxtapositions.

Gauri Gill: The Americans will be on view in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Michigan Avenue Galleries, from October 4 through December 28, 2008. On Thursday, November 6, at 12:15 p.m., the public is invited to a gallery talk with the artist. A second gallery talk with independent curator and contemporary Indian art expert Betty Seid will take place on Thursday, December 4, at 12:15 p.m. Admission to the exhibition and these associated programs is free.

The photographs in this exhibition examine Indians that have transplanted their lives to the United States, reflecting her own experiences living in New York and California and those of her relatives who have settled abroad. From older Indians who have recreated a life that doesn’t exist in India anymore to younger, recent transplants drawn by the technology industry, Gauri Gill looks at how her compatriots choose to assimilate and to preserve traditions from home.

Gauri Gill was born in Chandigarh in 1970. She received her first BFA degree (1992) from Delhi College of Art and her second BFA (1994) from Parsons School of Design in New York. In 2002 she received an MFA in photography from Stanford University in California. Her works have been exhibited in new Delhi at the Vadhera, Espace, and Anant Art Galleries and the India International Centre. In 2007, her photographs were included in group exhibitions at both the Musee Quai Branly in Paris and the Newark Museum in New Jersey. Gauri Gill lives and works in New Delhi.


The Americans opened at Bose Pacia Kolkata in Febraury 2008 and traveled to Chatterjee and Lal Gallery in Mumbai and Thomas Welton Art Gallery at Stanford University. Following the presentation at the Chicago Cultural Center, the works move to Bose Pacia New York in January 2009. A full-color catalog accompanies the exhibition and is available at the Shop at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Also on view in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Michigan Avenue Galleries will be “Deceptive Design: Experiments in Furniture” from October 11, 2008, to January 4, 2009. The Exhibit Hall on the building’s fourth floor will exhibit “Made in Chicago: Photographs from the Bank of America LaSalle Collection” from October 18, 2008, to January 4, 2008. “David Holt :Strong Perfection” will be shown in the Project Onward exhibition space until October 16, 2008.

Viewing hours for Gauri Gill: The Americans and other exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center are Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on holidays. Admission to Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions is free.

Exhibitions and related educational programming presented by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at the Chicago Cultural Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Transportation support is provided by United Airlines, the Official Airline of the Chicago Cultural Center. Lawry’s the Prime Rib is the restaurant sponsor of Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions.

For more information about Gauri Gill: The Americans and Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions, the public can visit or call 312.744.6630. (TTY: 312.744.2947).