About this artwork
Since the early 1980s, Louise Lawler has photographed works of art installed in auction houses, corporate headquarters, galleries, museums, and private homes in order to demonstrate how an object’s display and contextualization can shape its meaning. The resulting images transcend pure documentation. Her appropriation of works in situ addresses the broader social and economic issues that structure modes of presentation. These early photographs, often displayed as a triptych, deal with the theme of monogramming and, by extension, personal vanity. Depicting a couch with a Lacoste emblem, Alligator draws our attention to the Donald Judd sculpture above it and the reflection of the artist in its surface. Untitled shows a Jasper Johns painting, visible through the clear glass of a vitrine that exhibits Robert Rauschenberg’s oddly titled Monogram (1955–59; Moderna Museet, Stockholm). Lastly, Monogram depicts Johns’s White Flag (1955; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) hanging over a bed with a duvet lavishly embroidered with the owner’s initials. This sequence shows that Lawler is constantly making connections between various categories of signs, curatorial concerns of private collectors and museums, and the questions raised by redisplaying these pieces as the subject matter of “original” works of art.
- Currently Off View
- Contemporary Art
- Louise Lawler
- United States (Object made in)
- Silver dye-bleach print
- 100.3 × 71.1 cm (39 1/2 × 28 in.); frame: 104.8 × 74.9 cm (41 1/4 × 29 1/2 in.)
- Through prior gift of Leo Guthman; through prior bequest of Marguerita S. Ritman
- Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures.