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Holt’s ‘California Sun Signs’ at Fraenkel Gallery

Nancy Holt’s 1972 photographic series California Sun Signs features in the group exhibition Another West at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco on show from September 5 though October 19, 2019.

California Sun Signs comprises nineteen inkjet prints on archival rag paper, printed from original 126 format transparencies – a detail of a bullet-peppered sign is seen above. Collected on Holt’s route to the Mojave Desert in 1972, the signs range from a school to a restaurant, a liquor store, and a street sign. From sundae to sundial, and sunset to sunray, this series, all shot in vibrant color, collects the many ways the motif of the sun has been used in signage.

Another West is curated by Richard Misrach, who has been photographing the American West for more than 50 years, and is perhaps best known for his ongoing series Desert Cantos. The exhibition surveys contemporary approaches to the Western United States landscape – which Misrach describes as “eleven different Wests. From Nancy Holt’s 1972 color series California Sun Signs, to Lewis deSoto’s performance-driven long exposures, to Mishka Henner’s appropriated and digitally-composited satellite images of oil derricks, these artists employ photographic strategies and technologies unimaginable in Watkins’s era of the black-and-white mammoth plate. Most significantly, these artists of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries call our attention to what the West has become.”

Nancy Holt, California Sun Signs [detail illustrated above]
From a series of nineteen inkjet prints on archival rag paper
Printed from original 126 format transparencies in 2012
Each 15 x 15 in.

© Holt/Smithson Foundation, licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York

More News

Nancy Holt: Points of View at Parafin, London

This September Nancy Holt: Points of View launches at Parafin, London. The exhibition explores Nancy Holt’s fascination with language and systems of perception. The exhibition will be open from September 25 - November 14, 2020.

Tuesday Texts Program

Holt/Smithson Foundation is committed to developing new research on the work and creative legacies of artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. In June we launch our on-going Scholarly Text Program, which invites thinkers to focus on a single artwork by Holt and/or Smithson.

Friday Film Program Weekend Screening

For the last nine weeks the first edition of Holt/Smithson Foundation’s Friday Film Program has presented a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours.

This weekend all nine films in the Friday Film Program are accessible on Vimeo, along with introductions by artists Charlotte Prodger, Dorothy Cross, Lee Ranaldo, and Katrina Palmer, as well as by members of the Foundation team.

Holt/Smithson Foundation Friday Films—"Mono Lake" on May 29, 2020

Through April and May 2020 Holt/Smithson Foundation invites you to join us for our Friday Film Program.

Every Friday until the end of May we present a selected moving image work by Nancy Holt and/or Robert Smithson on Vimeo and IGTV for twenty-four hours. The program starts at 12 noon Friday on Mountain Time (the time zone of our home base in New Mexico), and runs to 12 noon on Saturday.