With around one-third of the world in different states of isolation and quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic, many are in dire need of interesting things to do. How best can we bide our time? Ask and you shall receive—and from a conceptual photographer, of all people.
On the Museum of Modern Art’s website, Louise Lawler, who’s known best for her icy photographs of art itself, has debuted a new coloring book that’s printable and available free of charge. Lawler is probably extremely low on the list of artists anyone would expect to create a project like this—her work typically grapples with heavy ideas related to authorship and appropriation, the kind of stuff unlikely to please any little ones. But her coloring book is as good as any other like it, and why not have your kid—or you yourself—fill in images based on Lawler’s pictures of Jeff Koons sculptures reflected in each other and the like?
Lawler fanatics might recognize that this project is, technically speaking, not entirely new. The images included are basically reformatted versions of her tracings, which revisit her most famous photographs—for example, 1984’s Pollock and Tureen, Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, Connecticut, in which the palette of a collector couple’s soup bowl neatly mirrors that of a Jackson Pollock drip painting hanging above it—by draining them of color and presenting them only as outlines. For the MoMA project, Lawler enlisted children’s book illustrator Jon Buller to make such images kid-friendly.
But adults should give them a shot as well, and MoMA has said it will even share people’s experiments with Lawler’s coloring book on social media if they’re posted using the hashtag #DrawingwithMoMA. It’s possible there is no better quarantine activity than this.