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John Divola, Forced Entry, Site 13, Interior View A, 1975. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Artist.
John Divola: As Far As I Could Get
October 13, 2013 – January 12, 2014

With a career spanning four decades, John Divola is as distinctive for his commitment to the photographic community as for his thoughtprovoking work. Divola was born in Los Angeles in 1949. After graduating with a BA from California State University, Northridge, he entered the MFA program at the University of California Los Angeles. There, under the tutelage of Robert Heineken, the artist began to develop his own unique photographic practice, one that merges photography, painting, and conceptual art. In addition to his own studio practice, he teaches contemporary art in the underserved California inland empire and writes on current photographic practice for a national audience. Though his influence and practice are widely recognized by curators, critics, scholars and publishers alike, As Far As I Could Get will be the first solo presentation of Divola's work which remains under-studied and under-represented.

This exhibition is a collaborative project led by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and shown simultaneously at SBMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Pomona College Museum of Art from October through December 2013. Though Divola’s photographic series are diverse in subject matter, this approach as one exhibition among three Southern California venues emphasizes the consistent conceptual and performative threads that run through Divola’s entire body of work.

To view the full Press Release, click here.

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Related Programming

John Divola, Theodore Street, 33.94522,-117.138789, 1/27/2012, 3:31PM-3:3:54PM, 2012. Pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

California State of Mind: Photography on and about the West Coast
Sunday, October 13, 2:30 pm
Critical theorist Colin Gardner and writer Dick Hebdige join John Divola in a discussion about California photography—the influences, history, subjects and sights that make the state nearly synonymous with film-based art.


Still from Seven Chances

Film Screening: Seven Chances
Sunday, November 17, 2 pm
Buster Keaton's 1925 silent film is a personal favorite of photographer John Divola. How do a race against the clock to a possible inheritance, a chase scene involving furious females, and an accidental avalanche of boulders connect to Divola's own exploration of time, motion, and space? Introduction and Q and A by Charles Wolfe, UCSB Professor of Film and Media Studies (96 min.)


Francesco Clemente, Untitled, 1983. Watercolor on paper. SBMA, Gift from the Collection of Laura Lee W. Woods. © 2013 Francesco Clemente.

Atelier: The Earth is the Bottom of the Sky
Friday, November 15, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Inspired by the work featured in John Divola: As Far As I Could Get and Totally 80s: Gifts to the Permanent Collection, explore the limits of excess, mark making in the void, velvet painting, pop-up abandoned architecture, and the "As Far As You Can Get" gallery game. Enjoy "The Running Dog" — the evening's signature cocktail with grapefruit juice, vodka, and a smoky salt rim. Listen to and relive 80s iconic tunes replayed, remixed, and reimagined by Jim Connolly, Anna Abbey, and Colter Frazier as "Hardly Recognizable Covers." Rediscover appetizers that deconstruct and reconstruct signature dishes of superstar chefs from the 80s and indulge in the "Dark Star" cupcake bar, amidst beautiful, desolate thought-provoking art.


1st Thursday
Thursdays, 5 – 8 pm

Family 1st Thursdays, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Bring the whole family and enjoy 1st Thursday together in SBMA's Family Resource Center located across from the Museum Café on the Lower Level. Museum Teaching Artists will assist families in creating special exhibition-based art projects. Afterwards, enjoy selected galleries until 8pm.

December 5
John Divola: As Far As I Could Get
Running Dog Collages

Make running dog multiples on colored vellum by tracing images with Sharpie markers, and adding texture with graphite.



Studio Sundays on the Front Steps
Sundays, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in this hands-on workshop with SBMA Teaching Artists on the Museum’s front steps. Each month explore a different medium, including clay, metal, ink, wood, photography, and paper, and gain inspiration from works of art in the Museum’s permanent collection or special exhibitions. In the event of inclement weather, activities will be moved inside to the Museum’s Family Resource Center.

All participants receive a Free Family Pass to the Museum.
Front Steps of the Museum

December 8
John Divola's Images of Running Dogs

Create a chalk pastel landscape on tan paper using masking shapes, then stencil John Divola-inspired running dogs into your composition.


The American String Quartet
Monday, December 9, 7:30 pm
Internationally recognized as one of the world's finest quartets, the American String Quartet has spent decades honing the luxurious sound for which it is famous. They will perform Cowell's United, Ives' Quartet No. 2, and Ravel's Quartet in F Major in honor of American photographer John Divola's oeuvre.


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