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Enrique Chagoya, 'Le Cannibale Moderniste' 1999


Enrique Chagoya, Le Cannibale Moderniste, 1999. Mixed media on paper mounted on linen, 48 1/8 x 96 1/8 inches. Collection Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Enrique Chagoya is included in a group exhibition at the Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which gathers a range of works investigating the genre of portraiture in contemporary art.

Person of Interest, which spans the museum’s entire second floor, broadly considers the role of portraiture in questioning existing notions of race, identity, institutional power and cultural capital in art. The exhibition comprises mostly works from the collection, ranging from the late nineteenth century to today by artists such as Chagoya, Milton Avery, Radcliffe Bailey, Philip Guston, Alfred Leslie, David Park, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Cindy Sherman, John Singer Sargent, Kiki Smith and many others, emphasizing the multivalence of portraiture in art throughout recent history.

Chagoya is represented by his 1999 painting Le Cannibale Moderniste. The artist considers cultural appropriation to be a form of cannibalism, and in this particular painting, he takes that idea at face value; his depictions of modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet as the victims of a violent, cannibalistic attack address the real-life consequences of Western colonization experienced by those who have been placed in the margins.

The exhibition is on view through July 3, 2021. Find more information here.

Watch a lecture on Chagoya's painting by Professor Courtney Hillebrecht of the University of Nebraska, organized on the occasion of Human Rights Day.