Gallery Paule Anglim is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Enrique Chagoya.
His seventh solo show at the gallery will feature a new Chagoya codex work, a unique mock-historical format practiced by the artist for over twenty years. Chagoya’s codices mesh the new and the old, paying homage to the pictogram books central to the history and culture of the Mayans and Aztecs, while parodying popular and political icons of our day. Nearly all of the original pre-Columbian codices, colorful Amate bark-paper documents, were destroyed by the Spanish conquerors.
As a counterpoint to the scale and detail of the codices, Chagoya will present several large paintings on canvas. Emphasizing the large expanse of the surface he paints imposing natural environments (the open space of sea, the night sky, the universe) with a small superimposed text or figure, contrasting the immense and infinite ‘given’ with the limited means man has to understand and control it.
Melding roles of artist and cultural historian, Chagoya creates alternative interpretations of current events. His works present records of recent and ancient history, or double exposures of political icons with Disney icons.
"My artwork is a conceptual fusion of opposite cultural realities that I have experienced in my lifetime. I integrate diverse elements: from pre-Columbian mythology, western religious iconography and American popular culture."
The retrospective exhibition Enrique Chagoya: Borderlandia opens February 13th at the Berkeley Art Museum. Initiated by the Des Moines Art Center, it will travel to the Palm Springs Museum and is accompanied by a bilingual catalog with essays by Patricia Hickson, Daniela Perez and Robert Storr.
Enrique Chagoya 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 Des Moines Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library.