Sprüth Magers

Louise Lawler

15 Nov 2014 - 17 Jan 2015

Louise Lawler
Pollyanna, 2007 / 2008 / 2013
Printed vinyl mounted to wall
Dimensions variable
Edition of 10
Copyright Louise Lawler
Courtesy Sprüth Magers
Louise Lawler
No Drones
15/11/2014 - 17/01/2015
Over the last 30 years, Louise Lawler has been making photographs that depict views of
objects and artworks in their everyday working environments, shifting the emphasis from
the subject itself to vantage points, framing devices and the modes of distribution that
affect the reception of an artwork. For No Drones, Lawler will exhibit a group of ‘tracings’, a
series that she developed for her exhibition at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, in 2013.
Traced directly from her photographs, and made in collaboration with the artist and
children’s book illustrator Jon Buller, the ‘tracings’ are black-and-white line drawings that
are converted to a vector graphic and printed on a vinyl that is adhered directly to the wall.
Each edition exists as an adaptable digital file that can be printed at any size. The
particular group of tracings exhibited on this occasion, for instance, have been produced to
adapt to the large walls of the Berlin gallery. A ‘tracing’ takes material form only when
exhibited, and it can be destroyed and remade in a different size for its next presentation.
Some of the works in the show are editions of 10, while others are unlimited editions.
The largest work in the show is Pollock and Tureen (traced) (1984 / 2013), a ‘tracing’ of
Lawler’s iconic photograph Pollock and Tureen (1984). The original work is a mediumsized
photograph, just under a metre wide, that portrays a decorative piece of porcelain
placed on a shelf beneath the expressive splatters of a Pollock. Pollock and Tureen
(traced) has been enlarged to almost ten metres to occupy a substantial section of one of
the long gallery walls. At this scale, many of the lines in the vector drawing start to behave
less predictably, often taking on a form of their own when viewed up close. Viewed from
afar, the picture again coheres into a recognisable image. Each ‘tracing’ becomes both a
representation of a previous artwork and an ephemeral installation in a particular space,
expanding the conceptual foundations of pictures. Writing in the Museum Ludwig
catalogue, Philip Kaiser describes the ‘tracings’ as ‘skeletons’ that explore ‘the extreme
ends and corners of pictures and their contexts.’
Louise Lawler (born 1947, Bronxville, USA) lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions
include Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013), Albertinum, Dresden (2012), Wexner Center for
the Arts, Ohio (2006), Dia: Beacon, New York (2005), the Museum für Gegenwartskunst,
Basel (2004), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (1997), The
Photographers’ Gallery, London (1997), Kunstverein München (1995), Centre d’Art
Contemporain, Geneva, (1994), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1990), and the MoMA, New
York (1987). Major group exhibitions include Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014),
Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2011), Barbican, London (2008), the Whitney Biennial at the
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008, 2000, 1991), the Institute of
Contemporary Arts, London (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002),
Kunsthalle Basel (2000), Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf (1997), the Art Institute of Chicago
(1990), the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1990, 1986, 1985), and the
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1989, 1988).
Sprüth Magers Berlin is concurrently presenting the solo exhibition I wish my Pictures by
Robert Elfgen and the group show Arte Povera and 'Multipli', Torino 1970-1975 curated by
Elena Re.

Tags: Robert Elfgen, Louise Lawler