Gallery Luisotti is delighted to participate in the first virtual viewing room of Frieze New York 2020 with its first presentation in Diálogos with Chicana artist Christina Fernandez (b. Los Angeles, 1965). Originally planned for Randall’s Island, the current pandemic has presented a way for the fair and gallery to innovate online. 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 viewing room opens Wednesday, May 6 for VIP registrants and opens to the public free of charge on Friday, May 8 with registration at frieze.com.
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. The artist’s most recent series, View from Here, revisits the motif of the window in delicate vistas from lesser-known historical figures. In this way, she performs the role of the historian, casting light onto what is of interest to her, but lesser known to others. In this way her practice becomes a platform for generating new understandings.