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The groundbreaking 2015 exhibition Art AIDS America, and the accompanying book, revealed the deep and unforgettable impact that HIV/AIDS had on American art from the early 1980s to the present. The national tour of the exhibit concluded its run at the Alphawood Gallery in Chicago, which had been founded in part to give the exhibition a Midwest venue.
Now Art AIDS America Chicago looks at the issues raised by the original exhibition and book with from new, different perspectives. An entirely new set of artworks brings to the forefront urgent conversations about race, gender, bias, healthcare, housing, and community. Art AIDS America Chicago attempts to confront racial and gender bias by foregrounding female artists and artists of color, including Howardena Pindell, Daniel Sotomayor, William Downs, Ronald Lockett, Kia Labeija, and Willie Cole. In the new book, works by these artists and many others are illustrated in full color, as are images of performances and programs that took place during the Chicago exhibition. This book also inserts Chicago artists and activist activities into the wider history of AIDS activism and includes a comprehensive biographical essay on Chicago artist Roger Brown. Through this multifaceted and lively approach, Art AIDS America Chicago further explores the intersection of art and AIDS activism.