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Louise Lawler

°1947, Bronxville (US) – lives and works in Brooklyn (US) 

Louise Lawler is a key figure of the Pictures Generation of appropriation art. At the heart of her body of work are photographs of other artists’ works as displayed in museums, storage spaces, auction houses, and collectors’ homes. She uses photography as a conceptual tool and way of directing attention to things that are tacit and unspoken - the constraints, rules, and economies of the loose system that governs the art world. It isn’t just in her photographic work that Lawler explores art’s economic regime down to its smallest, seemingly banal details. She also continues to produce ephemera including matchbooks, gift certificates, postcards, posters, and souvenirs such as drinking glasses or paperweights. Invoking her signature, subtle humor, she underscores how the art apparatus relies on a loose network of advertising materials and other articles that help determine how an artwork is recognized and valued.

Over the course of her career, Lawler has created an impressive archive that documents the rapid transformation of the art world and its turn towards neoliberal economies of attention and speculative interests. In contrast to works within the traditional movement of institutional critique, the artist’s oeuvre refrains from passing judgment and noticeably leaves room for ambiguities. What’s more, by re-staging them in a new exhibition context, she often restores some of the original aura and aesthetic autonomy to the artworks she portrays. Through her probing examination of context and value in contemporary art, Lawler has expanded conventional criticism of the institutions and practices of the art world.

(courtesy of Sprüth Magers)

Solo exhibitions include Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Dia:Beacon, New York; and Museum for Gugenwartskunst, Basel. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; MoMA PS1, New York; MUMOK, Vienna; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum, New York, which additionally her work in its 1991, 2000, and 2008 biennials.

Louise Lawler is represented by the following galleries;
click through to discover more of her work.

Sprüth Magers, Berlin / London / Los Angeles 

Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels 

Metro Pictures, New York