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Enrique Chagoya: A Conversation on Books, Censorship, and Collaboration

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Installation view of "Borderless: Artist’s Books by Enrique Chagoya," Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 2021. Photograph by Jorge Bachmann, © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater

Through his artist books, Enrique Chagoya creates a visual critique of history and current social issues with humor and satire. Hear Chagoya speak about his past experiences with art vandalism and censorship, and the lessons it has taught him, including the importance of creating honest dialogues. This presentation will be followed by a conversation with Don Farnsworth, director of Magnolia Editions, on their new collaborations and Chagoya’s digital projects.

Please note: this event was originally scheduled for January 29, 2022 and is rescheduled to February 26, 2022.

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About the Exhibition

Borderless: Artist’s Books by Enrique Chagoya

As a child growing up in Mexico City, Enrique Chagoya often visited the monuments at Teotihuacán with his family. Chagoya’s ongoing study of Mesoamerican history and the legacy of colonialism continue to inform his politically charged work as a prominent artist and professor of art at Stanford University. In the books on view in Borderless: Artist’s Books by Enrique Chagoya, he addresses history in a new way.

Chagoya’s pieces take their form from accordion-fold books of the Mayans, Mixtec-Zapotecs, and Aztecs that were painted on amate, a paper made from the bark of wild fig trees. Chagoya’s collaged, time-traveling, absurdist overlays manage to conflate concepts of anthropology with contemporary sociopolitical issues to create a head-spinning and potent remix of history. He calls it “reverse anthropology,” a humorous way to see ourselves in the mirror, but the deeper political messages are also clear. This is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Chagoya’s artist’s books.

Ticket Information

All programs are free and open to the public. No additional ticket purchase is required.

For programs inside Gunn Theater, seating is limited and unassigned. Free tickets are distributed on a first-come first-served basis an hour before the program begins in front of the theater. This ticket does not include admission to the museum galleries. Every Saturday, the de Young and Legion of Honor offer free general admission tickets to all Bay Area residents.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7624