Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Arranged by Donald Marron, Susan Brundage, Cheryl Bishop at Paine Webber, Inc., NYC

Artist:
Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947)
Date:
1982
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
43.8 x 59.1 cm (17 1/4 x 23 1/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel; Pamela and Arthur Sanders, Jeanne and Robert Savitt, Alexandre and Lori Chemla Gifts; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2007
Accession Number:
2007.246
Not on view
Lawler is a spy in the house of art, tracking modern and postmodern masterpieces as they wend their way from the pristine white cubes of galleries and carpeted walls of auction houses to corporate boardrooms and homes of private collectors. In 1982, for her first solo exhibition at Metro Pictures, she created a display of works by her stable mates entitled "Arranged by Louise Lawler." She "appropriated" their pictures in the style for which the gallery's artists were known and was paid a consultant's standard 10 percent of the total price. Lawler also showed a series of black-and-white images of works of art arranged by curators, art advisors, and even her own dealers.
Arranged by Donald Marron, Susan Brundage, and Cheryl Bishop at Paine Webber, Inc. is both deadpan and poignant. Unlike the trophy paintings and sculpture hung proudly in reception areas, this trio of Lichtenstein multiples is lower down on the value scale and thus suitable for the decor of an office. The pictures hover like flies vying for the attention of a pair of anonymous bankers who ignore the "art" while struggling to send a fax. Lawler's diminution of her role as an "author" is meant both to highlight the collaboration of others (here, Paine Webber CEO, Castelli Gallery rep, and corporate curator) and to direct the viewer outside the boundaries of the image and toward the real life of which art is always a part. It is unlikely, however, that any of the arrangers appreciated the irony that Lichtenstein's pictures, originally meant to acknowledge (with a wink) their own status as commodities, now adorned the walls of an office copy room. What Lawler reveals is that the meaning of the artwork lies not in its origins but in its destiny.
Inscription: Signed, dated and inscribed in pencil on verso: "Louise Lawler", "1982 3/5"
[Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris]; Frank and Patti Kolodny, New Jersey; Per Skarstedt, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Photographs from the Collection XIV," May 15, 2007–September 30, 2007.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984," April 21, 2009–August 2, 2009.

Related Objects

Postcard

Artist: Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947) Date: 2000 Medium: Silver dye bleach print Accession: 2001.458 On view in:Not on view

[Glass with Pegasus, Cast Shadow]

Artist: Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947) Date: 1979 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 2006.131 On view in:Not on view

Open

Artist: Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947) Date: 1980 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 2006.130 On view in:Not on view

Plato

Artist: Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947) Date: 2002 Medium: Silver dye bleach print Accession: 2003.217 On view in:Not on view

Cabinet 2, Shelf 14

Artist: Louise Lawler (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1947) Date: 1997 Medium: Silver dye bleach print Accession: 2000.613 On view in:Not on view