Among the artists featured in the exhibition are John Divola, Buck Ellison, Christina Fernandez, Anthony Hernandez, Catherine Opie, and Larry Sultan, all of whom have been based in California throughout their careers. While artists like Fernandez, Hernandez, and Ellison are well known and acclaimed on the West Coast, they have received less recognition nationally. Golden State offers a dynamic opportunity to introduce the work of these California photographers to East Coast audiences, and to position them within a broader artistic and socio-political dialogue.
The exhibition will also include several photographs from Dorothea Lange’s series on Japanese-American internment in 1942, which were originally censored by the U.S. government. The inclusion of these images, which feel eerily immediate and contemporary, demarcate California’s position at two important junctures in American history—first, as complicit in government-sanctioned racism and paranoia during World War II, and now in direct and forceful opposition to the same political forces.