Feb 29th 2020

Exhibition walkthrough with Candida Alvarez and Melissa Messina

@ moniquemeloche

451 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Saturday, February 29th, from 4pM - 5PM

On view through Saturday, March 21st

Join us on Saturday, February 29 for an exhibition walkthrough with artist Candida Alvarez and independent curator Melissa Messina. The two will lead a casual discussion of the works on view in Alvarez’s first solo exhibition at moniquemeloche, Estoy Bien (open through March 21).

Candida Alvarez (b. 1955 in Brooklyn, NY) received her MFA from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT 1997. Alvarez was commissioned by the City of Chicago to create four large paintings, installed along lower Wacker Drive on the Riverwalk in downtown Chicago, as part of the inaugural Year of Public Art, an ongoing city-wide public art initiative. Alvarez was also tapped by Rei Kawakubo, founder of international fashion house Comme des Garçons, who transformed six of her paintings into prints featured in their Fall 2017 menswear collection. Alvarez was honored with a solo retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center, Candida Alvarez: Here (2017), curated by Terry R. Myers. The exhibition marked the first major institutional exhibition, reflecting forty years of her painting. Other solo exhibitions include the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2012-13); Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2003); New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT (1996); The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY (1992); The Queens Museum, Flushing, NY (1991); and Galerie Schneiderei, Cologne, Germany (1990). Her work has appeared in group exhibitions at the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL (2018); the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO (2017); CAM, Houston, TX (2003); The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (1990); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (1985); and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (1980). Her work is included in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and El Museo del Barrio, New York City. Reviews of her work have appeared in various publications, including ArtForum, Art in America, Artnews, and The New York Times. Alvarez is a recipient of the 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters & Sculptors Grant. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL where she holds the F.H. Sellers Professorship in Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Melissa Messina is an Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate. For over 15 years, her exhibitions, site-responsive projects, and public programs have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has curated solo shows for such esteemed artists as Lynda Benglis, Nick Cave, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Ebony G. Patterson, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., and Ursula Von Rydingsvard, and authored essays on numerous contemporary artists including Chakaia Booker, Whitfield Lovell, Claire Sherman, and Nate Young, among others. She was recently the co-curator of “Mildred Thompson, The Atlanta Years, 1986-2003” at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (2019), and “Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain,” at the New Orleans Museum of Art, LA (2018). In 2017, Messina co-curated “Magnetic Fields, Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today,” an intergenerational exhibition celebrating abstraction by Black female artists that toured from Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL. In 2016-17 Messina was the guest curator for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and served as the first Artistic Director of Flux Projects in Atlanta. She was formerly the Interim Executive Director and Senior Curator of the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; the National Program Director for ArtTable; and a founding staff member and then guest curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. She is the recipient of a Creative Time | Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant; the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Fellowship at the Stuart A. Rose Library at Emory University; and the Fall 2019 Tyson Family Fellowship at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR. Messina is the co-curator of the 2018 and 2020 Bermuda Biennials. She also contributed an essay for the digital catalogue produced by moniquemeloche for Candida Alvarez’s 2020 gallery exhibition, Estoy Bien.

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