Have you ever thought about the way in which art is displayed? There are many mediums through which a piece of art can be experienced and in each one lies a completely different meaning and tone. For example, walking through a museum and seeing a sculpture in the middle of the room. You can see all of the grooves and shapes up close and the focus is on what the sculpture depicts. Now picture instead a photograph of the display of that sculpture hanging up in an art gallery. The focus now is on the way the sculpture is being viewed by others rather than solely the sculpture itself. These questions are the foundation of artist Louise Lawler’s work.
Lawler’s projects are extremely versatile and compelling. She’s both an artist and a photographer whose work has heavily focused on other artist’s work. One of her most famous installations “Why Pictures Now?” focuses on photographing the works of other artists- how they look in the spaces where they’re displayed and how they were made. She has looked at the lives of works of art in private collections, museums, storage spaces, backrooms, auction houses, etc.
Lawler even works hard to find new mediums and ways to redisplay her own work in order to further question how the display changes the meaning. She has previously changed photographs into paperweights, drawings, and images stretched to fit where they’re displayed. Most recently she’s worked with MOMA to make a coloring book version of her “Why Pictures Now?” collection.
Lawler worked with children’s book illustrator Jon Buller in order to redraw the photographs with a coloring book feel. The MOMA has made the images available to download and print in order to encourage people to interact with Lawler’s art and find their own way to view the artistic pieces her photographs depict. For all the avid coloring book fans out there, both young and old, color us excited!