John Opera: a priori

Longhouse Projects is very pleased to present a priori, by John Opera. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.

John Opera’s recent introduction of the cyanotype into his repertoire of photographic approaches symbolically reflects his gradual evolution from empirical research to a more clinical, methodical study. His trajectory began with carefully honed and cropped landscape photographs, moving to abstract anthotypes—a photosensitive process of bleaching out images created from a fruit or vegetable based emulsion. His latest body of work centers around a focused meditation on seemingly everyday objects translated in a very specific Prussian Blue on a residue-washed linen surface. The process of the cyanotype is a now almost obsolete technique that is not too far removed from the anthotype, using liquid chemicals and ultraviolet rays to develop the images. It was originally conceived to reproduce notes and diagrams, and later blueprints. Opera’s photographic paintings curiously address this explicit objective by making notes out of rock collections and label-free bottles and diagrams out of ropes, chains, and posed hands.

There is a linearity that is often avoided within today’s art trends, given the progressive shift toward interdisciplinary activities and confluence of media, but part of the power in Opera’s work comes from his voracious consumption of his own personal previous bodies of works and the accumulated integration directed back into new projects. a priori literally means “from the earlier” and Opera willfully chooses to pull from the earlier and push forward. His landscape photography came from his interest in better understanding the world around him, the anthotypes came from an interest in scrutinizing and creating directly from the same locations (the fruits and vegetables used to create the photographic emulsions are sourced from the same places), and the cyanotypes come from an interest to further understand his own investigation into the history and process of photography. From one project to the next, one can trace the complicated contrapositions inherent in each of the works—particularly the heightening of contrasts between formal techniques and conceptual concerns specifically tied to photography and painting, as his work has always been mutually comprised of these two mediums. The cyanotype represents for the artist a refreshing return to an earlier mode in order to look at things anew.

John Opera: Forms I, II, III

Forms I, II, III, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
21 x 27 in / 53.34 x 68.58 cm
Edition 1 + 2 AP
EACH

Longhouse Projects, New York
John Opera: Devonian and Hands

Devonian II, I; Hands III, I, II

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Installation view

Hands III, I, II; Ropes I; Forms I, II, III

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Installation view

Hands I, III; Forms I, II, III; Silicates II, III, IV, I

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Ropes I and Forms

Ropes I; Forms I, II, III

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Silicates and Devonian

Silicates II, III, IV, I; Devonian II, I

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Chains II and Ropes II

Chains II; Ropes II, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
48 x 36 in / 121.92 x 91.44 cm
Edition 1 of 1 each

John Opera: Chains I and Bottles

Chains I; Bottles III, I, II, 2012

Installation view
John Opera: a priori
Longhouse Projects, New York

John Opera: Devonian II

Devonian II, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
16 x 23 in / 40.64 x 58.42 cm
AP 1 of 1

John Opera: Hands 3

Hands III, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
25 x 32 in / 63.5 x 81.28 cm
Edition 1 of 1

John Opera: Hands 2

Hands II, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
25 x 32 in / 63.5 x 81.28 cm
Edition 1 of 1

John Opera: Forms 1

Forms I, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
21 x 27 in / 53.34 x 68.58 cm
Edition 1 + 2 AP

John Opera: Forms 2

Forms II, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
21 x 27 in / 53.34 x 68.58 cm
Edition 1 + 2 AP

John Opera: Silicates 3

Silicates III, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
48 x 36 in / 121.92 x 91.44 cm

John Opera: Silicates 4

Silicates IV, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
48 x 36 in / 121.92 x 91.44 cm

John Opera: Silicates 1

Silicates I, 2013

Cyanotype on stretched linen
48 x 36 in / 121.92 x 91.44 cm

John Opera: Chains 1

Chains I, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
48 x 36 in / 121.92 x 91.44 cm
AP 1 of 1

John Opera: Bottles 3

Bottles III, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
19 x 23 in / 48.26 x 58.42 cm
Edition 1 of 1

John Opera: Bottles 2

Bottles II, 2012

Cyanotype on stretched linen
19 x 23 in / 48.26 x 58.42 cm
Edition 1 of 1