José León Cerrillo, Ilja Karilampi, and Paul Chan
              Jeanne Gerrity
              Paul Chan is clearly energized by the Greek word polytropos. Homer used the word, translated as “cunning,” numerous times to describe Odysseus. This information, conveyed by Chan to a rapt audience during a two-part lecture, was included in the opening-week program for the new gallery Kiria Koula in San Francisco’s Mission District. The talk, Odysseus as Artist, drew parallels between the position of the Greek hero—stranded far from home and tempted by the seductions of material wealth—and that of contemporary artists, who must use their “cunning” to succeed in an increasingly market-driven global art world. This improbable but convincing metaphor is apt for Kiria Koula, a commercial gallery and bookstore committed to supporting new work and research in the spirit of a non-profit. Along with Chan (who selected texts related to his research on The Odyssey for visitors to browse and potentially purchase), Mexican artist José León Cerrillo and Swedish artist Ilja Karilampi inaugurate the converted laundromat with visually disparate works connected by a focus on language and iconography. Cerrillo presents four glass panels containing geometric graphic symbols (all 2014)—what he dubs as “poems”—which are attached at right angles to a wall bifurcating the main gallery space. Three thin spray-painted iron …

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