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John Divola

STRATUM/Clive Wearing’s Dilemma

California Museum of Photography

May 11 - September 8, 2019

Opening Reception

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 4pm - 6pm


UCR ARTS periodically issues an invitation to create an artist project. We ask an artist to consider the museum an extension of their studio. We invite them to engage with our collections and objects, ideas and galleries, and to create a personal response for exhibition.

Renowned artist and UCR Professor John Divola has chosen to present a selection of historical photographs from his personal collection. 

The photographs in Stratum are “banquet” photographs, made between 1920 and 1950 at gatherings of employees, tradespeople, or professional organizations as souvenirs for the participants. Because these photographs were made with large negatives, often the size of the final print, extraordinary detail lets us easily observe individuals as they clown around or pose seriously for the camera, frozen in revelry or pensive, and giving a sense of both the individual and the collective.

Clive Wearing’s Dilemma

The works in this exhibition are twelve large unaltered black and white gelatin silver photographs produced by John Divola in 1990. Shown in its entirety for the first time, this body of work invokes the vocabulary of the sublime and the universal—clouds, cosmos, atmosphere.  Yet, the means involved are nothing more than throwing handfuls of flour at sloppily painted backdrops. 

UCR's College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the City of Riverside have provided support.

Image: Arkansas Maytagers, Maytag Spring Party in Newton, Iowa, March 28-29, 1955, courtesy of John Divola

Project: John Divola, Artist, Professor, UCR Dept. of Art

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