John Divola

Spotlight, Stand C55


Gallery Luisotti is delighted to participate for the first time at Frieze New York 2016. Our solo presentation of early 1970s work by John Divola will be highlighted in the Spotlight section of the fair. Spotlight is a section for solo artist presentations of work made in the 20th Century with a special focus on work made post 1960. Curated by Clara M Kim of Tate Modern, Spotlight explores unexpected positions from established artists, new research into artists from emerging territories and significant early work from overlooked artists.

On view will be an expansive selection of prints from the two series San Fernando Valley, 1971-’73, and Vandalism, 1973-’75. These series emerge from contiguous and formative years in Divola’s artistic career. A neat line of photographs from San Fernando Valley will give way to a non-linear arrangement of pairings and groupings from Vandalism. This configuration acknowledges Divola’s emphasis on seriality. The intimate scale of the works demands an early 1970s period eye to appreciate the works’ subtleties. One notices a progression in Divola’s relationship to the photographed space; he moves from being a self-aware observer in the neighborhoods around his family home to drawing on contemporary methods of intervention—post-minimal painting, sculpture and performance—as means to make a photograph. San Fernando Valley documents Divola’s moving through streets familiar to him in order to reveal the social milieu of Valley life. Vandalism allows Divola even more agency and is a sublime body of work and lasting reference point for Divola’s practice for decades to come. The series focuses on spray-painted room corners and walls, with the occasional magazine literally thrown in. Paraphrasing Divola, in California at the time, ‘serious’ art was primarily seen via published photographic reproduction. Vandalism turns that relationship on its head. This inversion of the historical conditions of art’s reception in 1970s California is a salient aspect of Vandalism that resonates even further in its pairing with the plain-spoken ‘biographical’ context of San Fernando Valley.

This is the most comprehensive grouping of this material that the gallery has been able to pull from John’s studio. Given the vintage nature and rarity of the work, it will likely not be available in this number again.

Click the links below to view and download PDF previews of works on offer in our stand in high resolution.

San Fernando Valley

Vandalism 7 x 7

Vandalism 10 x 10