October 11, 2013 to January 26, 2014
Louise Lawler's photographs of works of art in museums, private collections, at auctions, or in storage emphasize the aspects that we usually fail to notice. They show just how much the meaning of art is shaped by its context, surroundings, and arrangement - and that there is no impartial way to present art.
Astute, sometimes ironic, and never shy of debunking, for 30 years now this conceptual artist born in 1947 has analyzed the art system and all of its complex rules. Lawler directs her gaze toward the fringes of art, as it were, creating subtle commentaries of a poetic casualness via compositions that distinguish themselves by their formal approach as well as by their eccentricity. Louise Lawler, who embarked on her oeuvre in the late 1970s, belongs to the broader field of the "Pictures Generation," which also includes Sherrie Levine, Jack Goldstein, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman. At the same time, her beginnings were also strongly shaped by the institutional critique of the early 1970s, and consequently her works were initially interpreted as sociological commentaries reflecting on esthetic, economic, and historical factors in art.
The Museum Ludwig has granted the artist total access to its building for her first large survey exhibition in Germany. The exhibition comprises around 80 works, which are positioned throughout the entire building, thus engendering surprising situations through their encounters with the Museum Ludwig's permanent collection.
A new series of ten "tracings" has been created for the show-outline drawings that are reminiscent of children's coloring books and draw on earlier works by Lawler. Furthermore, the artist has agreed to create two new, large-format "stretches" for the Museum Ludwig. These are photos that she has printed out on self-adhesive vinyl film and whose proportions she tailors to the space in question-even if that means deforming the motifs.