February 25, 2016 - Walker Art Center - Ordinary Pictures
February 25, 2016

Walker Art Center

Louise Lawler, Portrait, 1982. Silver-dye bleach print. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Ordinary Pictures
February 27–October 9, 2016

Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +1 612 375 7600
info@walkerart.org

www.walkerart.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Ordinary Pictures
February 27–October 9, 2016

Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +1 612 375 7600
info@walkerart.org

www.walkerart.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

The Walker Art Center presents Ordinary Pictures, a group exhibition that considers the stock photograph and other forms of industrial image production in contemporary art and culture. On view in the Target and Friedman Galleries from February 27 through October 9, 2016, the exhibition presents conceptual and picture-based practices since the 1960s by some 45 artists that have questioned the nature of the image in mass circulation. To accompany the exhibition, the Walker has published a fully illustrated catalogue exploring this under-researched yet pervasive aspect of visual culture, with contributions by curator Eric Crosby, Thomas Beard, Misa Jeffereis, Lane Relyea, and Eva Respini.

Examining the various ways in which artists have reimagined the generic image over the past 50 years, Ordinary Pictures presents work in a range of media including photography, painting, moving image, sculpture, installation, sound, prints, and multiples. Spanning generations, movements, and artistic strategies—from early Pop art and avant-garde film to Pictures Generation appropriation and various contemporary practices—the exhibition also considers the art world’s own role in the economy of image production.

“The Walker has a rich history of presenting important contemporary group exhibitions that expose new research and overlooked fields of inquiry,” says Walker Executive Director Olga Viso. “I am delighted to share this exhibition with our audiences. It offers a vital lens for us to consider how contemporary art intersects with our image-saturated lives.”

Contemporary culture is more inundated than ever before with stock images so commonplace they largely go unnoticed. The depictions are recognizable but staged and sanitized, with scenes such as business meetings, romantic sunsets, and children at play. Used as anonymous tools for advertising, marketing, editorial, and corporate operations, they are sold, licensed, circulated, and repurposed. A global industry has taken root that manufactures and distributes the countless images that populate consumer culture. Such pictures for rent, and their far-reaching effects in the marketplace, signal a significant shift in how images are used, valued, and experienced today.

“The stock image is instantly familiar and circulates invisibly in our lives,” said Eric Crosby, the exhibition curator. “Yet a global industry sustains it by perpetuating the demands of advertisers and consumers alike. I’m interested in how artists can prompt us to look differently at the seemingly banal products of industrial image culture.”

Taking this generic visual commodity as a point of departure, Ordinary Pictures examines the ways artists have engaged the industrial and economic implications of images today. Their works share a preoccupation with image production and circulation through acts of appropriation, collage, rephotography, and image exchange.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Steven Baldi, Mary Ellen Bartley, Lucas Blalock, Tom Burr, Sarah Charlesworth, Anne Collier, Phil Collins, Michael de Courcy, Liz Deschenes, John Divola, Aleksandra Domanović, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, Jack Goldstein, Rachel Harrison, Robert Heinecken, Leslie Hewitt, William E. Jones, Owen Land, Elad Lassry, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Guthrie Lonergan, Elizabeth McAlpine, Steve McQueen, Scott Nedrelow, Albert Oehlen, Jack Pierson, Peter Piller, Seth Price, Richard Prince, Amanda Ross-Ho, Edward Ruscha, Stephen Shore, Sturtevant, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, Jiro Takamatsu, Mungo Thomson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tseng Kwong Chi, Julia Wachtel, Andy Warhol, and Christopher Williams.

Funding
The exhibition is made possible by generous support from Jan and Ellen Breyer, Karen and Ken Heithoff, Michael J. Peterman and David A. Wilson, Robert and Rebecca Pohlad, and Elizabeth Redleaf. Additional support is provided by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Support for the exhibition catalogue is provided by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Walker Art Center publications.

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