Louise Lawler (American, b.1947) is a photographer and Conceptual artist best known for her critical framing of art institutions. She earned a BFA at Cornell University in 1969, and began working in the tradition of a previous generation of artists associated with Institutional Critique, including Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976), Daniel Buren (French, b.1938), Hans Haacke (American/German, b.1936), and Michael Asher (American, b.1943). By calling attention to the various venues that display art—such as museums, auction houses, and private collections—Lawler questions the role of commercial forces in determining the work’s original value. Her photograph Pollock and Tureen (1984) shows the home of a private collector, juxtaposing a Chinese tureen with a painting by Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956). On a much larger stage, Lawler’s photographs Not the way you remembered (Venice)—her contribution to the exhibition Sequence One: Painting and Sculpture from the François Pinault Collection (2006-2007)—document the exhibition’s installation process. The title suggests the involvement of François Pinault, collector and owner of Christie’s auction house, as well as the “you” of the audience. Lawler’s work can be found in major collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Tate Britain in London. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in its 1991, 2002, and 2008 biennials, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Timeline

1947
Born in Bronxville, New York; lives in New York City
1969
Attended Cornell University (BFA)

Exhibitions

2012–2013
This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2012
Spies in the House of Art Photography, Film and Video, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2012
Histories de L’art, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal
2012
Spies in the House of Art Photography, Film and Video, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2012
Histories de L’art, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal
2012
Louise Lawler, Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinum, Dresden (solo)
2011–2012
The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Aritsts Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
2011
No Substitute, Glenstone Foundation, Potomac, Maryland
2011
Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph, The Georgia O’keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2011
After Images, Jewish Museum of Belgium, Brussels
2011
Museum of Desires, MUMOK, Vienna
2011
The World Belongs To You, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
2011
Fitting at Metro Pictures, Metro Pictures, New York (solo)
2011
No Drones, Sprüth Magers, London (solo)
2010–2011
Taking Place, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2010–2011
Hyper Real, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna
2010–2011
Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2010
Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art, S.M.A.K./Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent
2010
Untitled (Ohne Titel), Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin
2010
Sound & Vision, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
2010
El Gabinete Blanco, The Jumex Collection, Mexico City
2010
Adaptation: Between Species, The Power Plant, Toronto
2010
Later, Yvon Lambert, Paris (solo)
2009–2010
See This Sound: Promises in Sound and Vision, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz
2009–2010
See This Sound: Promises in Sound and Vision, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz
2009–2010
Mondernologies: Contemporary Artists Researching Modernity and Modernism, Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
2009–2010
Beg Borrow and Steal, The Rubell Family Collection Museum, Miami
2009–2010
Where Do We Go From Here: Selections from the Jumex Collection, Bass Museum of Art, Miami
2009
Nothingness and Being, The Jumex Collection, Mexico City
2009
The Quick and the Dead, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2009
The Pictures Generation: 1974-1984, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2009
Sprüth Magers, Berlin (solo)
2008
Sucked In, Blown Out, Obviously Indebted or One Foot in Front of the Other, Metro Pictures, New York (solo)
2008
Whitney Biennial 2008, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2008
The Museum as Medium, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain
2008
Blasted Allegories: Works from the Ringier Collection, Kunstmuseum, Luzern
2008
Metro Pictures, New York
2008
Political Corect, BFAS Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva
2007–2008
Where is the nearest camera?, Sprüth Magers, London (solo)
2007
Metro Pictures, New York
2007
Not for Sale, P.S. 1, New York
2007
The 80’s: A Topography, Fundação Serralves, Porto, Portugal
2007
Sequence 1: Selections from the Collection of François Pinault, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
2007
The Tremaine Pictures 1984-2007, BFAS Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva
2007
Studio Guenzani, Milan
2007
No Official Estimate, Yvon Lambert, Paris
2007
Documenta 12, Aue-Pavillon, Kassel
2007
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
2007
Held Together With Water, Sammlung Verbund, MAK, Vienna
2007
Edit! Photography and Film in the Ellipse Collection, The Ellipse Foundation: Contemporary Art Collection, Portugal
2006
Twice Untitled and Other Pictures (looking back), curated by Helen Molesworth, Wexner Center, Ohio
2006
Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2005
Louise Lawler, National Museum of Art, Oslo
2005
In and Out of Place: Louise Lawler and Andy Warhol, Dia, Beacon
2004
Looking Forward, Metro Pictures, New York
2004
Louise Lawler and Others, Museum for Gugenwartskunst, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland
2004
The Big Nothing, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
2004
Not There, Sprüth Magers Lee, London (solo)
2003
Selected Works 1980-2000, 5 Rue de la Muse, Geneva, Switzerland; Pletskud, Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Skøvej, Germany; The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; (cat.); Designs for Living, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles
2003
Selected Works 1980-2000, 5 Rue de la Muse, Geneva; Probably Not in the Show, Portikus, Frankfurt; New Walls, Yvon Lambert, Paris; Add to It, Portikus, Frankfurt (solo)
2002
Open House, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Visions from America: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (cat.); Extension, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; Life, Death, Love, Hate, Pleasure, Pain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
2001
American Art, Galerie Rudolfinum, The Centre of Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic (cat.); Body Double: Figures of Figures, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Televisions, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
2001
More Pictures and Other Pictures, Galerie Meert Rihoux, Brussels; Dunn-Rite and Other Pictures, Studio Guenzani, Milan; Controlled Temperature, Art & Public, Geneva (solo)
2000
Paint, Wood, Plaster, Fabric, Glass and Other Pictures, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles; More Pictures, Neugerriemschneider, Berlin (solo)
2000
Rot grau, (red grey) Kunsthalle Basel, Basel "Whitney Biennial," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (cat.)
2000
Galerie Meert Rihoux, Brussels
1999
The Museum as Muse, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (cat.); Shelf Life, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Triennale Exhibition: Sentiment of the Year 2000, Triennale di Milano, Milan
1999
Hand On Her Back, and Other Pictures, Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne; The Tremaine Series,1984, Skarstedt Fine Art, New York; An Exhibition of Photographs by Louise Lawler From 1985 through 1993 Selected and Installed by Jürgen Becker, Jürgen Becker, Hamburg (solo)
1998
Pictures That May or May Not Go Together, Gallery Larsen, Stockholm (solo)
1997
Monochrome, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (brochure with text by Phyllis Rosenzweig); Farbe, Wände, Bilder, Monika Sprüth Galerie (solo)
1997
Collected, The Photographer's Gallery, London; Foto Text Text Foto, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Deep Storage/Arsenale der Erinnerung, Haus der Kunst, Munich Nationalgalerie SMPK, Berlin, Germany; Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf im Ehrenhof; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (cat.); Moving Images, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig
1996
Cultural Economies: Histories from the Alternative, The Drawing Center, New York; Fixed Intervals (two-person exhibition with Allan McCollum), John Weber Gallery, New York; Art at Home: Ideal Standard Life, Spiral Garden, Tokyo; Comme Un Oiseau, la Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, Paris; Architecture, Art, and Planning Department Centennial, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; 10th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Artspace; and Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Australia
1996
It Could Be Elvis and Other Pictures, Galerie Six Friedrich, Munich S.L Simpson Gallery, Toronto (solo)
1995
A Spot on the Wall, Munich Kunstverein, Germany (solo)
1995
The End(s) of the Museum, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona; Passions Privees, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
1994
Radical Scavenger(s): The Conceptual Vernacular in Recent American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Die Orte der Kunst, Sprengel Museum, Hannover; The Century of the Multiple: From Duchamp to the Present, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; 4 x 1 im Albertinum, Gemaldegalerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstammlungen Dresden (cat.); Temporary Translation(s): Sammlung Schurmann, Deichtorhallen Hamburg
1994
Press-papiers, cartes postales, images et cannibalisme, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; External Stimulation, Galleria Klemens Gasser, Bolzano, Italy; Monika Spruth Galerie, Cologne; Studio Guenzani, Milan (and 2001) (solo)
1994
Galerie Meert Rihoux, Brussels
1991
Galerie Meert Rihoux, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
1988
Galerie Meert Rihoux, Brussels