Our ABMB 2021 booth will showcase the gallery’s longstanding commitment to diverse voices, exploring sociopolitical issues through material innovation-featuring seven artists.
Following their lauded 2019 Nova booth, Ebony G. Patterson and Maia Cruz Palileo’s practices mine different histories and visual cultures, striving to elevate the mundane. Patterson’s large-scale tapestries put forth opulent aesthetics that use beauty as a tool to seduce the viewer into bearing witness to victims of social injustice. Palileo uses magical realism to reflect on her family’s migration to the US from the Philippines, as well as the fraught history between the two countries.
David Antonio Cruz ruminates on the intersectionality of queerness and race through painting, sculpture, and performance. Cruz examines violence perpetrated against queer communities, conveying his subjects both as specific individuals and monumental signifiers for larger systemic concerns. Each portrait is abstracted by the presence of fragmented elements invading and distorting the boundaries of these purportedly formal compositions. In 2019, Cruz had his first solo at moniquemeloche, was in the NPG Outwin Prize exhibition, and currently on view David has his second solo exhibition at the gallery through December 18, 2021.
Sanford Biggers works across a spectrum of mediums and varied conceptual interests; he roots his practice in the excavation of histories to shed light on the present. Drawing upon a broad view of the past, encompassing AfroAsian influences, Biggers speaks to contemporary socio-political conditions by summoning their non-linear origins. His fourth solo show at the gallery is in 2022.
Kajahl’s vigorous portraits traverse distinctive cultures and temporalities, challenging the boundaries of identity through speculative fiction. Kajahl amasses archival materials from an array of ancient ethnography, portraiture, and landscape to create fictional compositions considering the complexity of overlooked histories. Through the fusion of diverse artifacts and narratives Kajahl expands the periphery around our perceived relationship to history and how it informs the present. His joined moniquemeloche in fall of 2020 following his first solo show.
Chicago native Cheryl Pope maintains a practice rooted in the examination of systematic social concerns through novel material interventions. Made of unspun wool-roving and cashmere, Pope’s innovative textural “paintings” reference the classic motif of the leisured nude, contemporized through the sensuality of a semi-autobiographical interracial couple. Their paradisiacal frivolity is complicated by the longstanding complexities surrounding a mixed-race couple. Pope’s fifth solo exhibition at moniquemeloche is in summer 2022 followed by the Ulrich Museum of Art.
Rounding out our presentation is a painter well-known to Chicagoans with a career spanning 40 years, Candida Alvarez. Drawing from the narrative of place, Alvarez pulls from materials in her immediate world, her travels, and her Puerto Rican heritage to build dreamlike narratives existing somewhere between fact and fiction. Alvarez’ s first solo show at moniquemeloche opened in 2020 and she is included in El Museo’s LA TRIENAL (2020/21). Together, these artists represent the broad spectrum of practices championed by the gallery, all of which are tied together by the desire to disrupt and challenge, formally and conceptually