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MoMA Plans Louise Lawler Retrospective for 2017

Louise Lawler, Portrait, 1982.COURTESY THE ARTIST AND METRO PICTURES

Louise Lawler, Portrait, 1982.

COURTESY THE ARTIST AND METRO PICTURES

The Museum of Modern Art announced today that next spring it will present “Why Pictures Now,” the first major New York survey of work by the American artist Louise Lawler.

The exhibition—organized by MoMA senior curator Roxana Marcoci with curatorial assistant Kelly Sidley—will move through 40 years of work from the influential Pictures Generation-era artist and take place primarily on the museum’s sixth floor, with an additional sound work to be installed in its sculpture garden. The show is named after one of Lawler’s most famous works, a 1982 black-and-white photograph that depicts a matchbook inside an ashtray and alludes to film and advertising aesthetics.

Lawler is perhaps best known for her photographs showing other artists’ works as displayed in collectors homes, museums, and auction houses. The pieces combine photography and institutional critique to ask fundamental questions about the nature of contemporary art. “Why Pictures Now” will run from April 30 to July 30, 2017.

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