Little Boxes: Photography and the Suburbs

Hammer Building, Level 3
August 24, 2013–December 1, 2013

The suburbs have long been faulted for their monotonous uniformity. Possessing neither the electric excitement of the city, nor the organic visual rhythms of the rural landscape, the suburbs have been regarded by some as a bland aesthetic vacuum, unworthy of serious artistic or intellectual investment. Since the beginning of the postwar suburban housing boom, photographers have been at the forefront of artists documenting and commenting upon the architectural, environmental, and social effects of the widespread affinity for the single-family home.

This selection of works from LACMA’s collection identifies key figures and significant themes in the development of suburban photography, from the late 1940s through the 1990s. Included are works by Lewis Baltz, Bill Owens, Eileen Cowin, Catherine Opie, Mark Swope, Laurie Simmons, Andy Warhol and Gregory Crewdson.

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Image: Catherine Opie, Untitled, c. 1988, printed 2006, From the series Master Plan, Archival pigment print, Gift of James Welling, M.2011.203.3.2. © Catherine Opie.