Farrah Karapetian makes photography physical. Her work "marries two traditions in photography — that of the staged picture and of the image made without a camera" (LA Times 2015.) Her photograms and the sculptural negatives she makes en route to their exposure move in and out of abstraction and figuration and "disrupt and call attention to our era’s deeply entrenched response of permitting the constant newsfeed of documentary to slide by us as political ephemera"(Georgia Review 2015.) The work is a conscious, relational strategy of personal encounter and exchange that hinges on a sense of the contest between individual agency and authority.
Karapetian's work is in public collections that include the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. She has had multiple solo exhibitions and is represented by Von Lintel Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) and Danziger Gallery (New York, NY.) Recent exhibitions include A Matter of Memory, George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY (2016); The Surface of Things, Houston Center for Photography (2016); and About Time: Photography in a Moment of Change, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (2016.)
Karapetian will be on residence in winter 2018 in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, and has received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for 2017. She visited St. Petersburg, Russia, also in 2016 with a grant from CEC ArtsLink. In 2014, she was recognized with a California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship. She received a grant for Artistic Innovation from the Center for Cultural Innovation in 2012 and was a resident at the MacDowell Colony in 2010. She has received support from the following sources as well: the Foundation for Contemporary Art (Emergency Grant 2009); Hoyt Scholarship (2008); Lillian Levinson Scholarship (2007); UCLA Fine Arts Travel Grant (2007); Corine Tyler Walker Prize (2007); Sudler Fellowship (2000, 1999); Richter Fellowship (1999.)
Karapetian’s writing about photography and visual experience has been recognized not only by multiple publications but by the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, with a grant in 2013 for her writing about the house in and as contemporary art. Her voice has been a part of panel discussions and critiques at institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Princeton University, UCLA, LAXART, and the Orange County Museum of Art.
Karapetian’s public art projects have been recognized by arts and civic organizations including the California Legislature Assembly (Certificate of Recognition 2015) and the City of Los Angeles (Certificate of Appreciation 2009.) She received support from the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Los Angeles in 2009 for her work with their collection and civic engagement program, and she received an allotment of an Artplace grant as funding for her participation in the Flint Public Art Project in Michigan in 2012.
Significant group exhibitions in which existing work has figured include The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall, at the Goethe Institut, Washington DC, curated by Paul Farber in 2014; The Fifth Wall, at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, curated by Irene Tsatsos, 2014; Prep School: Prepper & Survivalist Ideologies and Utopian/Dystopian Visions, at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, curated by Max Presneill in 2014; Trouble With the Index, at the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock, Riverside, CA, curated by Joanna Szupinska-Myers in 2014; the Border Art Biennial 2010 at the El Paso Museum of Art and Centro Cultural Paso del Norte, El Paso, TX, and Juárez, MX, an exhibition juried by Rita Gonzalez and Itala Schmelz; and LA Confidentiel, at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Parc Saint-Léger, France, curated by Sandra Patron and Allyson Spellacy in 2008. Karapetian realized a major new installation at the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA, an exhibition curated by Dan Cameron.
Karapetian’s work is included in Charlotte Cotton’s survey of contemporary trends in fine art photography, Photography is Magic, published by Aperture in 2015, and has been reviewed in the LA Times, Artforum, Artcritical.com, and the artblog.org among many other publications. Profiles of the artist’s work have been published in, among other publications, Art in America, Artforum.com, The Georgia Review, TATE Etc., FABRIK, Art LTD, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and her work has been discussed in the New York Times and Interview Magazine.