John Opera: Blinds IV, 2014. Chemically altered cyanotype on stretched linen, 48″ x 34″
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Opera: Not Here Yet
September 13 – October 24, 2014
Opening Reception on September 13, 6 – 9 pm
LOUDHAILER is pleased to present Not Here Yet, new cyanotypes by John Opera. The exhibition opens with a public reception on September 13 from 6-9 PM and continues through October 24.
John Opera presents images of seemingly banal things encountered in daily life such as toilets, window blinds and reflective spaces that seem to simultaneously have both the characteristics of observed and imagined vision. Opera’s previous experiments with the traditional cyanotype process have led to a new series, employing the same chemistry but yielding new results. By chemically altering the cyanotype process, the artist has managed to create works that are neutral in color and resemble something more closely tied to the history of black-and-white photography. With this exhibition, new investigations turn towards the notion of space itself as it relates to how a subject exists contextually within a representational universe, whether actual or otherwise. The narrative energy of the earlier work is maintained, while new abstract forms are introduced.
In his new series, Tears, the notion of how space is depicted is just as uncertain as the circumstances that brought the image into being. The cyanotypes operate both as potential reflective surfaces, as something we might encounter in a simplified way in our daily existence, and a fictive entrance to an unknown, and perhaps otherworldly, space. The uneasiness that Opera conveys is indicative of his larger narrative concerns. In the Tears, as well as the new Equivalent works, Opera has intentionally left dust spots from the printing process in the compositions. The result of including these printing artifacts in the works not only acknowledges their process-laden objecthood—one of the artist’s main preoccupations in recent years, but also visually creates a push-pull effect. By leaving in what is usually removed in order to support the illusion of photographic space, larger allusions emerge, suggesting planetary objects, particles of dust, or smoke floating in a vast space.
John Opera (American b. 1975) lives and works in Chicago. He received his M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. He had a solo exhibition, Equivalent Simulation, with Michael Jon Gallery, Miami, earlier this year. Other recent exhibitions include Histories/Photographies at the Depaul Art Museum and apriori at Longhouse Projects, New York, New York. He was also part of a two-person exhibition with Amir Zaki at Shane Campbell Gallery and a solo exhibition at Macalester College Art Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota (2007), and was part of the three-person exhibition MP3, at the MOCP, Chicago (2009). He had a solo exhibition (with Matthew Sheridan Smith) at CAM St. Louis, curated by Dominic Molon. He has had four solo exhibitions with ANDREW RAFACZ, Chicago, and will have a forthcoming exhibition in October 2015. His work has been exhibited at art fairs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Paris. This is his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.