Exhibition Features the Work of 25 Contemporary Artists with Latino Chicago Connections
Present Standard Guest curated by Edra Soto and Josué Pellot, the FREE exhibition runs in the Michigan Avenue Galleries on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center this January 30-April 24. The artists each play with the manifold meanings of “present” – as in contemporary, attending or existing – and “standard” – referring to a flag or pennant, measuring tactic, guiding principle or a potent symbol of national identity. The decision to move from one’s homeland is never simple, and immigrating, or any act of moving to a new country, can both produce moments of settling and endless questioning for the rest of an individual’s life. The work in this exhibition reflects through a filter of Latino immigrant experiences and the artists’ connection with and separation from their homes, their ancestry and their language. However, beyond this generalized and arbitrary commonality, they share little else – not artistic practice, gender identification or sexuality, or place of origin. The inescapable label “Latino/a” insists that whatever these artists do will be read through a screen of “identity” and “representation. Present Standard carefully seeks to underscore the pluralism that exists in contemporary art made by Latino/a artists. Present Standard features work by Alberto Aguilar, Candida Alvarez, Luis Miguel Bendaña, Paola Cabal, Juan Angel Chavez, Mariano Chavez, Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera, Dianna Frid, Diana Gabriel, Maria Gaspar, Melissa Leandro, José Lerma, Ivan Lozano, Jorge Lucero, Victoria Martinez, Harold Mendez, Sofia Moreno, Nora Nieves, Josué Pellot, Maddie Reyna, Luis Romero, Luis Sahagun, Chris Silva, Edra Soto and Rafael E. Vera.