Two words and 25 artists structure the upcoming exhibit, Present Standard, co-curated by Edra Soto and Josué Pellot at the Chicago Cultural Center. Surely those variables could lend themselves to an incongruous but good-looking group exhibition; however, what can be expected based on the rigor of these 25 artists and these two words is work by artists who consider personal and societal histories, reconfigure the contexts their work occupies — often forging new ones altogether — and an exhibition that configures new narratives of long standing terms.
So, of course, there are varying significances of each word lent to the title of this exhibition. Present as in now, as in in attendance. Standard as in rule, as in normalized. And then there is the landscape in which the 25 artists exist. What can be deduced from the list of participating artists and of the circumstances that have brought their work together will be tantamount to this exhibitions successes. Loud, excessive, and joyous color usage. Nostalgia and familiarity give it structure. Cultural impact completes the equation. What’s in store is the excavation of idiosyncrasies of what forms identities, personally, nationally, globally. Studded by artists whose work has been exhibited internationally and in alternative spaces, artists known in tight knit circles and artists known in as broad of contexts as can be. The assemblage of this exhibition feels like the kind of family reunion we all wish to be a part of, and luckily the tone it sets welcomes that approach.
Present Standard opens Saturday, January 30, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., with an opening reception from 2 to 4pm that day. The exhibit continues through April 24. The artists in Present Standard are: 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, Josue Pellot, Maddie Reyna, Luis Romero, Luis Sahagun, Chris Silva, Edra Soto and Rafael E. Vera.
Catalog essays are contributed by Stephanie Cristello, Alison Fraunhar, Kristin Korolowicz, Teresa Silva and JGV.WAR