Expo Chicago

September 13– September 17, 2017

The gallery’s focus is on conceptual curatorial models as they relate art historical, cultural, and personal investigations of identity, this year, we will present works by Sanford Biggers, Lyle Ashton Harris, Pepe Mar, Jillian Mayer, Robert Melee, Glexis Novoa, Christina Quarles, Xaviera Simmons, and Shinique Smith.


Sanford Biggers’ works integrate film/video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance. He intentionally complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. Through a multi- disciplinary formal process, and an equally syncretic creative approach, he makes works or “vignettes” that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are conceptual.


Pepe Mar excavates the ritual narratives inherent in secondhand stores, science fiction, celebrity, commercial design, and social media to create abstract and anthropomorphic barometers of contemporary culture. His rich, experiential process recalls the history of assemblage and painting. Mar heeds the call of Roland Barthes’ universal signifiers and answers with icons both appropriated and original. The artist’s work is committed to a personal and universal exploration of cultural alienation.


Xaviera Simmons’ photographs and sculptures are not origin myths explaining gender, race, or ethnicity; they are origin myths explaining the consciousness of individual identity. Simmons continues the exploration of her “Index” series of photographs and sculptures. The photographs, “sculptural” in nature, embody the artist’s interest in the object, things from her daily life and studio practice that make up the majority of the compositions for these works.


Shinique Smith takes physical stock of fibreculture and the possibilities of line. Working widely across painting, drawing, collage, video and installation, Smith creates ecosystems of cooperative corporality. Her works evoke embodied artifacts with consciences of genteel street smarts. Graffiti, secondhand finds and neo-tribalism interact with Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Japanese calligraphy to create playful alterations between supertext and subtext, evoking the textile weaves of Smith’s oft-used materials themselves.


The artists presented all deal with the realm of identity through a variety of means and shift conventional paradigms of identity to something more intimate. The works open a larger discourse on personal identity, popular culture, and sub cultural journeys of defining oneself through the gaze of the Other and the understanding of one’s own position in society.

Sanford Biggers
Lyle Ashton Harris
Pepe Mar
Jillian Mayer
Glexis Novoa
Xaviera Simmons

Other Artists:

Carlos Rolón/Dzine

Christina Quarles