Artist StatementAt the core of my work are critical explorations of labor and class in visual culture. I draw heavily upon the historical decorative arts to find contradictions within the contexts they originated. In my work, objects such as wallpaper patterns, ceramics, textiles and paintings do not simply reflect the mood of a given culture but are also tools for critique. Alongside painting and mixed-media installations, I use domestic materials in my research on the construction of political identity. These ubiquitous yet formative objects are of great interest to me—particularly repetitive patterns, which I utilize as both surface background noise and as a site for visualizing crisis and conflict. In these patterns, I alter and manipulate both the images they depict and the notions of authoritative taste they promote. Previous works, such as the Domestic Disturbances series, pictured French toile as the vehicle for social and political commentary while visualizing the military industrial complex post-9/11. Chinoiserie (Labor Protest Histories) features vintage wallpaper with hand-painted interventions of early 20th c. textile workers striking. We the People at the EXPO Chicago art fair solo booth in 2012 was an interactive project where I invited the public to hand-paint their own protest slogans, displayed amongst a patterned variety of other slogans from both Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party political protests. The Lost Colony Project relates to the Elizabethan age of exploration and the colonization of the New World. My aim is to alter contradictions into uneasy reconciliations. I employ visual humor as a form of resistance. Strategies of appropriation and historic archival research are at the core of my practice. I am particularly drawn to representations that explore social and political struggles. My work has been said to ‘use culture against itself,’ highlighting the exhaustion of grand narratives in the contemporary global context.
Lauren Frances Adams mines the histories of power, labor, and material culture to make surprising connections that resonate with current sociopolitical issues. She is an MFA graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a full-time faculty member in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Back Lane West, Cornwall, UK; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; EXPO Chicago; Conner Contemporary, Washington, D.C. and Royal NoneSuch Gallery, Oakland, California. Recently on view in Washington, D.C., American Catastrophe Report is a site-specific installation at American University through 2015. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including: The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD; Contemporary Applied Arts in London; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; CUE Foundation, New York; Mattress Factory and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; among many others. She has been awarded Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency, and she is a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant recipient. Adams is the co-founder of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a gallery and long-distance artist collective in New York. http://www.lfadams.com