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Freedom of Expression: Survey of Enrique Chagoya's artwork opens at Kala Art Institute
Enrique Chagoya, Their Freedom of Expression…The Recovery of Their Economy, 1984. Charcoal and pastel on paper, 80 x 80 inches. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art. Gift of Enrique Chagoya with additional support from the Collection Committee, in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art’s 35th anniversary. 2003.39.

BERKELEY, CA.- Kala Art Institute announces Freedom of Expression, an exhibition of the work of Enrique Chagoya. Curated by Peter Selz and Sue Kubly, Freedom of Expression is a survey of Chagoya’s artwork from the past thirty years, including large charcoal and pastel drawings, prints, codices and three-dimensional objects, many of them completed since 2000.

Chagoya's work incorporates historic and political subject matter to cast new interpretations of Mexico's history and current political events. It follows in the grand tradition of the great 20th Century Mexican muralists; But it is most indebted to the legendary exponents of art of social satire: José Guadalupe Posada and Francisco Goya.

His work invokes elements of pre-Columbian mythology, western religious iconography, and American popular culture, to address issues of Colonial conquest and its destructive wake, the problems of the border and the legacy of Mesoamerican culture. Chagoya approaches these subjects with a sharp but playful visual and verbal language, fusing a sense of irony with an incisive political and personal commentary. His innovative use of traditional media adds poignancy and surprise to his work, which are hallmarks of his art practice.

Highlights of this show include the iconic 1984 piece, Their Freedom of Expression…The Recovery of Their Economy, and Recession Watchdog. Other featured works include Chagoya’s Homage to Goya II: Disasters of War, intaglio prints, as well as other lithographs, silkscreen prints, and digital prints.

Enrique Chagoya is professor of art and art history at Stanford University. His work is in the collections of over thirty museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, LACMA, the National Museum of American Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library. Amongst Chagoya’s many awards and fellowships, he was twice recipient of NEA artist fellowships. Chagoya’s relationship to Kala goes back to 1984 when he was an artist-in-residence, making prints in the Kala studios. Kala’s Board of Directors honored Chagoya in 2009, with its Master Artist Award for his achievements in the field of art and education.

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