Lisa Lapinski at UT Austin’s Visual Arts Center

Artist: Lisa Lapinski

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Venue: UT Austin’s Visual Arts Center

Exhibition Title: Drunk Hawking

Date: January 24 – March 6, 2020

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of UT Austin’s Visual Arts Center, Austin. Photos by Sandy Carson and Mark Doroba. 

Press Release:

Austin, TX – The Visual Arts Center is pleased to present Lisa Lapinski: Drunk Hawking, a survey of Houston-based artist Lisa Lapinski, which includes works from the late 1990s to the present. Lapinski’s sculptures and two-dimensional works have been informed by a wide-range of referents, from characters culled from greeting cards and children’s books to advertisements and industrial design. Though seemingly incongruous and disparate, they convey a deep interest in how meaning is contingent upon time and place, never settled or resolved, and always in flux.

Clown [Type Face] (1999) is one of the earliest examples of Lapinski’s work in Drunk Hawking and demonstrates her long-standing interest in experimenting with typographic forms and certain materials, such as wallpaper. Clown [Type Face] includes a face constructed with a scant number of elements – an asterisk, a line, and a dot – suggesting that faces can be rendered and emotions can be conveyed with a few sparse symbols. In I Clown (both versions from 2008), photographs of almost identical still-lifes composed with Italian liqueur bottles shaped like clown faces underscore Lapinski’s interest in play as well as ready-made objects. In more recent works, such as Little My Chair #3 (2017) and Holly Hobby Lobby Bow #1 (2017), Lapinski appropriates characters from popular culture, and in both instances, children’s books. Holly Hobby Lobby Bow #1 reduces the character of Holly Hobbie to the form of a quilter’s bow. Perched atop two, pointed insect-like legs, it is both playful and foreboding. Installed together, the relationships between distinct objects and ideas produced over Lapinski’s career are illuminated in new ways, underscoring the artist’s interest in semiotics and philosophy, in appropriating signs and symbols from popular culture, and repurposing and reconfiguring works from her own oeuvre to new and productive ends.

Suffused with wry humor, Drunk Hawking elucidates Lapinski’s particular view of contemporary culture as unfixed and rife with ever-shifting meanings, where mercurial complexities, flaws and absurdities find common standing with craft, philosophy and language.

This exhibition is organized by MacKenzie Stevens, director, with Clare Donnelly, gallery manager, and Kaila Schedeen, 2019–2020 curatorial fellow, Visual Arts Center.

Lisa Lapinski (b. 1967, Palo Alto, CA) received a BA from University of California, San Diego (1990) and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design (2000). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Rice University. She has had solo exhibitions at Sylvia’s Sculpture Garden, Houston (2019); Kristina Kite, Los Angeles (2017); BA&D, Dusseldorf (2015); Johann König, Berlin (2006, 2011, 2014); Taka Ishii Gallery, Kyoto (2010); Shürmann Berlin (2009); MOCA, Los Angeles (2008); Midway Contemporary Art (2007); and Richard Telles (2001, 2003, 2008); amongst others. Lapinski will participate in a two-person exhibition at Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston in January 2020. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Moody Art Center, Houston (2018); Wallspace, New York (2014); Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam (2014); Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2013); Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles (2011); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2010); MOCA, Los Angeles (2010); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2010), the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009); The Approach, London (2008); Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (2007); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2007); Sprueth Magers Projekte, Munich (2007); Whitney Museum of Art, New York (2006); Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (2005); and Galerie Nelson, Paris (2005). She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.

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Link: Lisa Lapinski at UT Austin’s Visual Arts Center

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