Opening Reception: Friday, October 7 from 5-10 pm.
Conversation and Cocktails: Sunday, October 9 at 2 pm. - Exploring the Work of Rodrigo Lara Zendejas moderated by Kerry Doyle, , Director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at UTEP.
Inspired by the Xin Dynasty terra cotta warriors and motivated by the threat of presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposed wall, Lara constructed a life-size army of ceramic mariachi warriors bearing the likeness of immigrants who have crossed the border by foot. Installed facing north within the gallery and on its outdoor patio, each warrior exhibits two faces in order to look forward to a new life and back towards Mexico. The installed army, accompanied by xoloitzcuintli, sacred dogs of the Aztec, who protected homes from evil spirits in life and guided their owners’ souls into the underworld after death, silently ponder the complexities of exodus and identity while simultaneously anticipating further fracture within an already fragmented reality. Like the creators of terra cotta warriors Lara’s army is modeled after, Lara considers the experience of unacknowledged labor and liminal civic status. The terra cotta warriors, produced by nameless serfs for the Emperor’s tomb, are reincarnated as both mariachi warriors and also undocumented workers, who will sweat illegally and be obscured out of necessity and for the comfort of others.
Also on view are three pieces from Lara’s Cachirules series. Cachirules, meaning all things of questionable quality, origin, or reputation, are large plywood IDs featuring an immigrant’s homeland ID on one side and “appropriate” US documentation ID on the other. Drawn in graphite, each ID is reproduced with slight irregularities and supplemented with two-faced porcelain busts that consider appearance as opposing ethnic and American looks. Cachirules uses a double-sided object to explore rupture and duplication. Using documentation intended to bestow legitimacy, Lara allows the language and standards of bureaucracy to undermine itself. Small typos reveal second meanings in translation and photo requirements become an opportunity to examine the subtleties of presentation.
Does it Feel Delicious, a solo exhibition of new work by Anne Yafi, will be on view at Kruger Gallery Chicago, 3709 N Southport Ave, from April 20 – June 24, 2017.
Anne Yafi’s multi-media work exists at the intersection of drawing, painting and sculpture, creating playful works that combine traditional mediums with found materials. Color relationships play a key role in guiding Yafi’s choices with these elements. Op and Pop Art are art historical touchstones, as are the color palettes and aesthetics of Scandinavian Modern design, which Yafi recalls being immersed in during her childhood years. This visual sensibility influences her use of line, pattern and color, as well as informing the restraint that tempers these elements.
Does It Feel Delicious will present new paintings on panel and canvas alongside three-dimensional works constructed from pipe cleaners. The panel paintings are process-based, beginning with the use of gesso as a textural medium, "creating a topography that would determine, but more importantly - invite a tactile response i.e. mark making. The repetition of painted lines and other markings are a documentation of that process and therefore the primary determining factor in the creation of imagery." The resulting works exhibit a sensory interplay of color, surface and form, functioning simultaneously as image and object.
The pipe cleaner works see Yafi extend a painterly approach to this unconventional material, working intuitively with line and color in three dimensional space whilst exploiting the contradictory qualities of the material. As she explains, “[Pipe cleaners] are exceptionally lightweight and tactically inviting, yet withstand gravity and provide a hidden strength and functionality that belies their appearance.” Anne Yafi (b. 1961, Rockford, IL) received her B.F.A. from Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, in 2011 and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2015. Solo exhibitions include Fresh Work at Free Range, Chicago, 2016, and SAIC selected group exhibition curated by Kori Newkirk at Chicago ArtExpo, 2015. In 2016 she was awarded Artist in Residency at ACRE, Steuben, WI.
There will be an opening reception for the artist Thursday, April 20 from 6-8pm.