Press Release

During November and December, George Adams Gallery is pleased to present “The Surplus + Plus: An Illegal Alien’s Guide to Economic Theory,” new paintings, drawings and prints by Enrique Chagoya.  

This new body of work tackles cross-cultural issues that arise from the current economic crisis, while displaying Chagoya’s flare for humor and satire.  A new hand-painted codex titled,"An Illegal Alien's Guide to The Surplus of Nothingness," and five large-scale paintings and works in charcoal, all from 2009, will be on view. Two of the paintings are art historical interpretations: one of Ensor’s 1890 painting, “The Assassination,” and the other, titled “Auction House Blues,” is a view of the garden at Giverny after Monet.  

New prints and multiples will be shown in the Drawing Gallery, including "2012: Super-Bato Saves the World," a working slot machine - complete with Chagoya's own minted coins - that the artist built this year with Electric Works in San Francisco.  

Enrique Chagoya was born in Mexico City in 1953. He studied economics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City before relocating to the United States where he received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley.  He currently resides in San Francisco and is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Stanford University where he recently taught a seminar on economic theory.  

Chagoya's work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, LA County Museum, and the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., among others. A career survey exhibition organized by the Des Moines Art Center traveled to the Berkeley Art Museum and the Palm Springs Desert Museum in 2008.


In the Main Gallery:

Illegal Aliens Guide to the Surplus of Nothingness, 2009
Watercolor, ink, transfers on amate paper
13 1/2 x 93 1/4 inches
ECd 59

Illegal Alien's Guide to the Theory of Surplus Value, 2009
Acrylic and water based oil on canvas
80 x 120 inches
ECp 30

Auction House Blues, 2009
Acrylic and water based oils on canvas
60 x 80 inches
ECp 31

Thinking of Ensor and My Cat Diego, 2009
Acrylic and water based oils on canvas
60 x 80 inches
ECp 32

Time Out, 2009
Charcoal and pastel on paper
80 x 80 inches
ECd 57

Too Big, 2009
Charcoal and pastel on paper
80 x 80 inches
ECd 58

One Recession, 2009
Pigmented inkjet on Magellan rag paper
8 x 19 ½ inches
Edition of 20
ECr 57

2012: Super-Bato Saves the World, 2009
Custom slot machine, coins and payout bucket
68 x 27 x 21 inches
Edition of 8
ECr 53

Pyramid Scheme, 2009
Digital print mounted on sand filled enamel lined can¬(10 cans)
4 x 2 3/4 inches (can); 4 1/2 x 16 x 6 1/2 inches (carton)
Edition of 40
ECr 52

In the Drawing Gallery:

Atlas and the Arugulas, 2008
Pigment print with watercolor on amate paper
23 1/2 x 35 inches
Edition of 10
ECr 43

Homage to the Un-Square and My Cat Frida,  2009
Hand-colored intaglio etching
20 x 22 1/8 inches
Edition of 23
ECr 58

Illegal Alien's Guide to the Concept of Relative Surplus Value, 2009
color lithograph
15 x 80 inches
Edition of 30
ECr 54

Orozco Meets Victor Hugo at the Auction House, 2009
Hand-colored intaglio etching
20 x 22 1/8 inches
Edition of 27
ECr 59

Time Can Pass Fast or Slowly, 2009
Mixed media with acrylic on gessoed amate paper
40 ½ x 40 ¾ inches
Edition of 10
ECr 55

New Illegal Aliens Guide to Critical Theory, 2009
Pigment and acrylic on amate paper and two layers of plexi glass
12 x 94 inches
Uneditioned, unique variants
ECr 44.2

In the window:

Those Specks of Dust, 2006
Printmaking ink on paper
47 3/4 x 34 1/2 inches
ECr 34