“I think Allan McCollum once said the following, but not in regard to photography: ‘Re-present that which is not present. . . those poignant and sometimes desperate attempts we make on a day-by-day basis to represent ourselves, through our own reactions, of our personal absent past. Not to represent the past for any purpose of reminiscence or closure, but as a way of making the present more firmly felt’.”
Louise Lawler’s exhibition, Sucked In, Blown Out, Obviously Indebted or One Foot in Front of the Other includes photographs of recent public presentations of artworks at auction houses and museums. The rear wall of the main gallery will hold a mural sized image Lawler photographed at the newly-opened and much-celebrated Broad Contemporary Art Museum in Los Angeles. In the photograph, a large Jeff Koons cracked egg sculpture reflects the vast gallery space in its mirrored red convex surface. The sculpture, set against an artwork by John Baldassari, reflects other works by Koons and several gallery visitors.
Several copies of the same photograph of an Agnes Martin painting hanging beneath a Calder mobile at Christies auction house will also be exhibited. The photograph is one of Lawler’s “overexposed” images where the raw light erases much of the detail. Lawler’s installation in the 2008 Whitney Biennial includes three examples of these “overexposed” works.
As Ann Goldstein writes in her recent essay In the Company of Others, “A sense of time, of timeliness, underscores all of her work. On each occasion her work is presented, its meaning is different, contingent on its representation, arrangement, framing at that moment. . . . Lawler’s photographs emphasize that all artworks are continually restaged in the present; their meaning is not fixed within the object but open to the circumstances and readings at the moment of reception by a spectator. Lawler works in the complex network of past and present relationships both depicted and produced upon that moment of reception.” (Twice Untitled and Other Pictures (looking back) MIT Press 2007.)
Louise Lawler has been exhibiting at Metro Pictures since 1982. She has had solo exhibitions at The Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio, in 2006; Dia Beacon in 2005; and at the Gegenwartskunst, Basel, in 2004. Among other group exhibitions, her work was included in Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany.
Opening: May 8, 6 – 8pm
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