Larry Sultan


At this moment the first solo exhibition of Larry Sultan in Belgium takes place at S.M.A.K. We are showing series of photographs of one of the most important American conceptual photographers. 

Larry Sultan (1946–2009) was one of the most important American conceptual photographers. He grew up in San Fernando Valley, Hollywood's back country, in Southern California. This region of his youth constituted a major source of inspiration for his series of photos: ‘Pictures from Home’ (1982-92), in which he portrayed his parents in their everyday surroundings, ‘The Valley’ (1996-2001), which gives us a glimpse behind the scenes on porn film sets, and ‘Homeland’ (2006-09), in which the American image of ‘the picturesque’ is confronted with the lives of Mid-American day labourers in this region marked by migration. Sultan interweaves idyllic memories of places from his youth with current socio-political topics. Because of its consistent questioning of the notion of ‘authorship’, the ‘Evidence’ series (1975-77), which he created together with Mike Mandel using images found in scientific and technological archives from the Cold War period, is considered as a turning point in the recent history of photography. Starting out from a variety of contexts, Sultan created universal, timeless and conflicting images, which reverberate in the viewer’s mind for a long time afterwards. To accompany the S.M.A.K. exhibition, a monograph will be published in association with the Kunstmuseum in Bonn.

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