COOP Gallery is pleased to present “But if the Crime is Beautiful… ,” a multi-media project by Lauren Kalman. Kalman’s latest project utilizes fabricated objects and found furniture combined with the body to produce sculptural photographic compositions that examine the nexus of gender, ornamentation and core biases in the construction of Modernism. The titles of the project are inspired by the architect Adolf Loos’ 1910 lecture Ornament and Crime, where he proposes that ornament is regressive and primitive, and that in (his) contemporary society only degenerates and criminals are decorated (this includes women). Thus his comment, “but if the ornament is beautiful,” dismisses the popular appeal of ornamentation.
Says Kalman, ”The ‘crime’ in my work points not only to the decorated but also to deviant sexuality and female sexuality, especially 19th and early 20th century constructions. Loos’ writings on architecture and functional art helped to define the principals of the Modern Architecture movement.”
More about the Artist…
Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit, whose practice is invested in contemporary craft, video, photography and performance. Through her work she investigates beauty, adornment, body image, value, and consumer culture. Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art and Technology from the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in metals from the Massachusetts College of Art. She has been awarded residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Santa Fe Art Institute. In addition she has received Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Puffin Foundation West and ISE Cultural Foundation grants. Kalman exhibits and lectures internationally. Her work had been featured in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the deCordova Museum. She has taught at institutions including Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Currently she is an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.