← Exhibitions


Kala Art Institute is proud to announce 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.

Please join us for a special panel discussion at the Kala Gallery on Saturday June 22, 4-6pm.

$5-10 (sliding scale). Free to Friends of Kala Members.
E-mail ellen@kala.org for reservations and membership info.

Panelists include:
Enrique Chagoya, Artist / Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
Robert Flynn Johnson, Former Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
Paul J. Karlstrom, Former West Coast Regional Director, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Moira Roth, Trefethen Professor of Art History, Mills College
Peter Selz, Founding Director, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive / Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Art, University of California, Berkeley / Co-curator of Freedom of Expression

Moderator: Sue Kubly, Artist / Visiting Lecturer in Art / Co-curator of Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Expression exhibition and related programs are generously funded by the Fleishhacker Foundation and Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Coinciding with this exhibition, Chagoya will also be working with Kala master printers to produce an original etching in the Kala printmaking studio.

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.

Peter Selz is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum (1965–1973), and served as Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art from 1958–1965. One of America’s most respected scholars on the visual arts, Peter is the author of numerous books on art, artists, and politics, and is a leading authority on Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, the New York School, and German Expressionism. Peter Selz has been actively involved with Kala Art Institute for over ten years, serving on the Board of Directors, and as an arts advisor to the staff and to other Institute colleagues.

Sue Kubly received her M.F.A. in Print Making and Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she studied with Wayne Thiebaud, John Chamberlain and Richard Artschwager. Kubly has taught as a visiting artist at The Academy of Art in San Francisco, and the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and The London School of Printing, amongst others. In San Francisco, she has photographed poets and writers, and continues her own work in sculpture and drawing. Along with Peter Selz, she co-curated the recent Meridian Gallery exhibition The Painted Word, an exhibition of writers who have also done work in the visual arts.