Enrique Chagoya: Adventures of Modernist Cannibals

Enrique Chagoya
(American, born Mexico, 1953)
La Portentosa Vida De La Muerte,
edition 14/30, 2003
Lithograph and chine-collé
17 x 14 inches
Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer; L2015:85.8

Enrique Chagoya
(American, born Mexico, 1953)
La Portentosa Vida de La Muerte II
edition 8/30, 2008
Lithograph
17 x 14 inches
Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer (HIPM); L2015:85.7

Enrique Chagoya: Adventures of Modernist Cannibals

September 10, 2015 to December 06, 2015

Painter and printmaker Enrique Chagoya describes his work as a “conceptual fusion of opposite cultural realities” and employs what he calls “reverse anthropology.” His provocative works incorporate diverse symbolic elements from pre-Columbian mythology, Western religious iconography, and American popular culture. Chagoya often appropriates the visual tropes of Western modernism in his works, just as the masters of Modern art cannibalized so-called primitive forms without properly contextualizing them.

This exhibition highlights some of Chagoya’s most fascinating pieces: artist’s books that take their form from pre-Columbian codices and combine chine-collé, letterpress, lithography, and woodcut printing techniques to create rich, multi-layered compositions. His contemporary codices illustrate an imagined world in which the European conquest of the New World failed and the normative culture of the Americas is based in indigenous ideology.

Sponsored  by Jordan D. Schnitzer