It was a big call but not an unfounded one. When LA Confidential published an article in 2011 suggesting that Los Angeles was the new contemporary art capital of the world, the debate should have been fierce, prolonged and dichotomous. Instead, there was something of a hum of agreement from across at least some points of the globe.

The was plenty of supporting evidence: top New York curators switching coasts, huge new and expanded art spaces, additional art fairs on the Californian calendar, public gallery programs dominated by blockbuster shows and a slew of rising international art stars – such as our own Ricky Swallow – making the City of Angels home.

Now, in a timely exhibition, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will connect Australian audiences directly with the momentum of the LA contemporary art scene by debuting one of the gallery’s newest collections, Making sense: contemporary LA photo artists.

Featuring Southern Californian artists Sekula, Uta Barth, Miles Coolidge, Shannon Ebner, Christina Fernandez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Anthony Hernandez, Sharon Lockhart, Catherine Opie and Mark Wyse, the exhibition is as broad in subject as it is in artistic approach. Spanning themes from globalisation to Dadaism, the loose thread that connects these pieces is their collective questioning of the nature of the photographic object and its power to transform perception.

Making sense: contemporary LA photo artists shows at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from February 11 to May 13 2012. Entry is free.

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