Louise Lawler

Metro Pictures

Louise Lawler’s recent show comprised a fabulous body of quasi-conceptual photographs and a collection of objects glass shelves of drinking glasses with words etched on them and more intimately scaled, domed crystal paperweights containing images of artworks—all of which reflected on the presentation, purchase, and sale of art. This, in itself, is nothing new. Lawler, as Craig Owens once put it, displaces critical attention away from individual works of art and onto their institutional frames, “thereby presenting, rather than being presented by, the institution.” The photograph A Spot on the Wall, 1993–95, for example, depicts a dark dot alongside an Eva Hesse and a Donald Judd, and the image at the bottom of the glass paperweight, Untitled, 1995, represents a Dan Flavin light-sculpture in a domestic interior.

The surprise in this show lay in the series “Paint, Wall, Pictures: Something

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