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 exhibits a group of tracings, a series that she developed for her exhibition at the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, in 2013. Traced directly from her photographs, and made in collaboration with the artist and childrens 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 tracing takes material form only when exhibited, and it can be destroyed and remade at a different size for its next presentation. Some of the works in the show are editions of 10, while others are unlimited editions.
The longest wall in Sprüth Magers
features Pollock and Tureen (traced) (1984 / 2013), a tracing of Lawlers 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 over four metres to occupy a substantial proportion of the broad, window-facing wall. The result is both a representation of a previous artwork and an ephemeral installation in a particular space.
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 dArt Contemporain, Geneva, (1994), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1990), and at 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).