February 25 – March 29, 2014
Artist Reception: March 7, 5:30 PM
In Living Arrangement, Alberto Aguilar brings together photography, video and sculptural installation involving domestic objects. As a whole, the exhibition highlights an area of Aguilar’s artistic practice that he refers to as Domestic Monuments. This ongoing body of work involves a collaborative process with other individuals – sometimes artists – in which Aguilar visits his subjects at their homes and through gaining knowledge of them and their environment, eventually constructs a “sculpture” made from the objects that they choose to surround themselves with. The resultant works, be it the actual arrangements, or photo- graphic documentation of them, operate both as still life and portraiture.
The fact that Aguilar was trained as a painter is evident in way he approaches form, composition and color. While he once kept a studio, he now chooses to make work in the midst of his daily life, incorporating home, teaching and his interactions with others. For Living Arrangement, Aguilar will visit the homes of two local residents, including that of DeCordova Museum curator Dina Deitsch, where he will generate sculpture that will then be presented in the gallery (the objects will be returned to their proper homes and normal functions at the show’s end). There will also be three photographs on view that document past collaborations with Chicago residents, and a video that demonstrates Aguilar’s working process as well as the importance that painting holds for him. As the artist states:
The video makes a clear tie to my painting background. There is a conscious effort to address the picture plane and obscure the place of the viewer and the artist...the maker and the looker...the foreground and the background.
A collaboration with artist Edra Soto that was recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, is also included in the exhibition. Table Graft consists of a dining table purchased by Aguilar that has been repurposed as a ping pong table by virtue of Soto fabricating a net for it. The piece was part of a larger installation at the MCA, which Aguilar conceived of as way to make the institution, and by extension contemporary art in general, more accessible to the public. Visitors are encouraged to interact with Table Graft.
Aguilar received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. He is a tenured professor at Harold Washington College, and has also been the Coordinator of Pedestrian Project since 2006. One- man exhibitions of Aguilar’s work include shows the Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL and at The Franklin in Chicago. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Homebodies at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2013. This is Aguilar’s first exhibition at Steven Zevitas Gallery.