Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition – Women, featuring the photographs of John Divola, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Lisette Model, and Henry Wessel. Together the work of Divola, Lartigue, Model and Wessel, runs the course of the twentieth century and focuses on women in places from Paris to Los Angeles. Though sharing a common subject matter, these four photographs present a variety of representations of women. Whether these representations are true or false, accurate or stereotypical, is left to the viewers gaze, a gaze which may be complicated by the newly formed connections created in presenting the divergent observations of these four photographers.
To those conversant in the history of photography, the four photographers included in this exhibition may not be immediately associated. The work of Lartigue, for instance, is linked to photography’s coming of age as a subjective medium and here through the eyes of a young man. Lartigue’s work presents photography as a symbol of a new, leisure class. Lisette Model, whose work begins in the 1930s and really flourishes in the 1940s and 1950s, captures a much different woman. Model’s women are of the everyday and, like her student Diane Arbus, often the outsiders of society.
The vernacular turn noted in Model’s women moves forward in the latter half of the 20th century. Though this vernacular style has most often been associated with landscape photography of the 1970s and after, here we see its association with portraiture in the work of Henry Wessel and John Divola. Wessel, whose work exhibited here dates from the late 1960s through the 1980s, is a master of the moment, capturing the fleeting glances between a man and a woman. Divola’s work, represented by his early series made in the San Fernando Valley, has a more portrait-driven view of the contemporary woman. Capturing women watering their lawn, shopping in a supermarket, or simply walking down the street, Divola’s work becomes not only a portrait of the women he captures, but a reflection of the culture in which they flourish.
As each photographer here is unique in their gaze of women, they also capture the inimitable position of woman in social context of their day. Providing the broad historical base of photographic works dating from throughout the 20th century, this exhibition is a snapshot into the portrayal of women by four of the most recognized photographers of the century.