Louise Lawler photographs art in museums, galleries, private homes, auction houses and storage areas, thus providing an analysis of how presentation affects the meaning of an art work and how the work of art functions as an emotional, intellectual, social and economic object.
For this exhibition, the artist presents 10 small crystal paperweights displayed on pedestals in the gallery space, each containing a miniaturized Lawler photograph. The viewer must look very closely at the tiny jewel-like objects in order to focus on particular details in each picture. One long wall of the gallery is painted grey and contains the labels which identify the paperweights. This separation of the description of the object from its physical presence serves to underscore its significance.
On the opposite wall, juxtaposed to the voyeuristic paper weights, Lawler's installed a color photograph, Salon Hodler, which is an interior scene showing two large paintings by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler installed in the reception room in the apartment of a European collector. The carpets, furniture, lighting fixtures, flower arrangements — even the telephone — in the room are shown in exquisite detail giving them equal weight to the Hodler paintings in Lawler's composition.
On alternating nights between 7 and 10 pm, a different photograph will be projected on the interior gallery wall.
Louise Lawler has exhibited at Metro Pictures since 1982. She had numerous gallery shows in Europe — Yvon Lambert, Paris; Isabella Kacprzak, Cologne; Meert-Rihoux, Brussels; and Studio Guenzani, Milan. Lawler's one-person museum exhibitions include The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (1984); The Museum of Modern Art, New York ("Projects," 1987); The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1990); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (1993); Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva (1994). Lawler collaborated with Douglas Crimp on the book On the Museum's Ruins published by MIT Press in 1993, and later this year there will be a monograph on the artist published by Schirmer-Mosel in Munich.
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