Christina Fernandez | Prospect
September 16 - November 22, 2017
Gallery Luisotti is delighted to announce the upcoming exhibition, Christina Fernandez: Prospect. It is the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the programming of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. The exhibition features two new bodies of work, View from here and reflect/project(ion). She has worked on these two series since 2016. Her new work continues several threads present in her earlier series, with a renewed formal clarity. Ideas regarding place, history, memory and legacy are strong currents within the exhibition.
View from here is an ongoing series of ten photographs, depicting various windows and their views onto the exterior surroundings of a particular structure. Fernandez has placed the window and its immediate interior surroundings in focus while the exterior landscape in blurred as an effect of the shallow depth of field. She disrupts the established convention of the window being used to look out at something by emphasizing the interior of a space and its particular history. In a way it heightens the viewer’s awareness that someone else has stood there previously.
Many are idiosyncratic or odd, while others, such as a photograph made at Manzanar, the WWII internment camp, are weighed down with a profound and painful history. The work’s title, Toyo (Manzanar), refers to the Japanese American photographer Toyo Miyatake, who was interned there and made photographs of fellow inmates with a makeshift camera. A lesser-known history would be that of sisters Thelma and Juanita Austin, who were the last keepers of the Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro before control was handed over to the City of Los Angeles. She looks through the windows of other figures ranging from Noah Purifoy to ghost town conmen. Fernandez has previously explored the imagery of the window through her series Lavanderia, though View from here is totally devoid of visible people.
The accompanying series reflect/project(ion) is a group of collaborative photographic portraits printed on stretched canvas. Fernandez asked former students to make a photograph of their camera and equipment, which she then projects onto their bodies as she makes a photograph of her own. Placed within doors and next to windows, the staging of the photographs opens layers of meaning. The portraits are contemplative, and suggest opportunity through the presence of windows, as well as the passage of time and movement through life’s stages via the appearance of doorways. Fernandez is a professor at Cerritos College, a Southern California community college, and so within an art context, her relationship to her students is very specific, particularly in relation to more prestigious universities and art schools. Given the demographics of community college students, her role as a working artist and educator is especially pertinent to their exposure to an inaccessible art community.
Fernandez has carefully calibrated the two series on view to offer suggestions about how history is presented and how one can inform or shape their own history and the histories of others.
Christina Fernandez’s work has been exhibited in major museums throughout the United States since the early 1990s. Her recent exhibition history includes group exhibitions at LACMA, Marianne Boesky Gallery and MOCA, LA. Prior landmark exhibitions include How Many Billboards: Art in Stead, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, the traveling exhibition Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and This Side of Paradise: Body and Language in LA Photography, Huntington Museum, San Marino. Fernandez’s works are housed in the permanent collections of LACMA, MOCA, LA, Williams College Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the University of Guadalajara, the Fisher Museum of Art, USC, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC.