Frieze Viewing Room | Diálogos: Christina Fernandez
May 8–May 15, 2020
Gallery Luisotti is delighted to participate in the first virtual viewing room of Frieze New York 2020 with its presentation in Diálogos with Chicana artist Christina Fernandez (b. Los Angeles, 1965). Originally planned for Randall’s Island Park, the current pandemic has presented a way for the fair and gallery to innovate online. The viewing room opens Wednesday, May 6 and 7 for VIP registrants and opens to the public free of charge with registration on Friday, May 8 at Frieze.com here. The artist is a lifelong Angelino and has mobilized the shared histories of Mexican migration and labor in the region to explore personal identity and her family’s narrative.
The artist is reconceiving her three part series, Ruin (1999/2014), which was made at the turn of the millennium in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico to explore her own body’s connection to the pre-Columbian ruins shown. In their rich sepia tones the works take on the appearance of historical archaeological photography. Specific attention to the medium and presentation is a recurring feature of Fernandez’s practice.
Shown for the first time in decades the series, Untitled Farmworker (1989/ 2020), made while the artist was completing her Masters degree at CalArts, presents 3 x 5 note cards with typed text describing farm workers’ casualties resulting from their labor in the fields and even punishment from organizing for better working conditions. Each card was originally placed in earth moved into the gallery space, as if in a field of crops or as the artist later noted, a graveyard with the cards representing tombstones. The individual cards in dirt later existed as photographs, but the original installation will be recreated at Frieze.
While Fernandez is well-known within the context of the West Coast contemporary art community, Frieze New York will expose her work to a much more international audience. For this reason, the gallery will present striking examples from one of her best-known series Lavanderia (2002-03), which are cinematic color photographs taken through the graffitied and etched windows of laundromats at night in the Latino working-class neighborhoods of Los Angeles. In them we see the subtle repetitive motions that repeat in cycles. The framed photographs operate as objects in their own right as well, encasing the window within another window of sorts.
Christina Fernandez is a Mexican-American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a BA from UCLA (1989) and MFA from CalArts (1996). Her works are in the collections of the Getty Museum, MoMA, New York, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, MOCA, Los Angeles, LACMA, the Art Gallery of New South Wales among others in addition to numerous private and corporate collections. She is a professor of photography and department chair at Cerritos College, California.
Diálogos is a celebration of Latin American, Latino, LatinX Artists. Rodrigo Moura (Chief Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York) joins returning curators Patrick Charpenel (Director, El Museo del Barrio, New York) and Susanna V. Temkin (Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York).