Sprüth Magers Berlin London

No Drones   Sprüth Magers Berlin   november 15 2014 - january 17 2015

Overview  /  Press Release english / deutsch   /  print press release
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. A 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 medium-sized 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 by Lawler and an ephemeral installation in a particular space, expanding the conceptual foundations of pictures. Writing in the Museum Ludwig catalogue, Philipp Kaiser describes the ‘tracings’ as "skeletons" that explore "the extreme ends and corners of pictures and their contexts."

Lawler will also exhibit a group of works called ‘traced and painted’, a further extension of the ‘tracings’. These small-scale prints on paper are hand-painted by the artist, creating works that bring to mind pages torn from illuminated manuscripts or children’s colouring books. Pollock and Tureen (traced and painted), Third (1984 / 2013 / 2014,) is the same tracing used in the large-scale wall vinyl but condensed to 20 x 25 cm, with a subtle strip of greenish-gold across the middle of the image.

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.

For more information and press enquiries, please contact Silvia Baltschun (sb@spruethmagers.com).
Exhibition Opening: 14.11.2014, 6 – 9 pm
Opening Times of the Gallery: Tue – Sat, 11 am – 6 pm