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Rick Lowe

Rick Lowe, Rotation (Revolution), 2023 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 324 inches (365.8 × 823 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Rotation (Revolution), 2023

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 324 inches (365.8 × 823 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Victoria Square Project: Open Borders, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 84 × 84 inches (213.4 × 213.4 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Victoria Square Project: Open Borders, 2022

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 84 × 84 inches (213.4 × 213.4 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses: If Artists Are Creative Why Can’t They Create Solutions, 2021 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 192 inches (365.8 × 487.7 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses: If Artists Are Creative Why Can’t They Create Solutions, 2021

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 192 inches (365.8 × 487.7 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses: Biggers and Beuys, 2021 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 96 × 72 inches (243.8 × 182.9 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses: Biggers and Beuys, 2021

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 96 × 72 inches (243.8 × 182.9 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey #2, 2020 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 96 × 180 inches (243.8 × 457.2 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey #2, 2020

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 96 × 180 inches (243.8 × 457.2 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2020 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm), Menil Collection, Houston© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2020

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm), Menil Collection, Houston
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2019 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2019

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2019 Acrylic and paint marker on paper, 52 ¼ × 42 ½ inches (132.7 × 108 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2019

Acrylic and paint marker on paper, 52 ¼ × 42 ½ inches (132.7 × 108 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey, Chicago, 2018– Social sculptureInstallation view, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 2021© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Michael Tropea

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey, Chicago, 2018–

Social sculpture
Installation view, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 2021
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Michael Tropea

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2018 Ink and acrylic on printed paper, 35 ½ × 23 ¾ inches (90.2 × 60.3 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Untitled, 2018

Ink and acrylic on printed paper, 35 ½ × 23 ¾ inches (90.2 × 60.3 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses, Houston, 1993–2018 Social sculpture conceived in collaboration with James Bettison, Bert Long, Jr., Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses, Houston, 1993–2018

Social sculpture conceived in collaboration with James Bettison, Bert Long, Jr., Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith

Rick Lowe, Victoria Square Project, Athens, 2016– Social sculpture conceived in collaboration with Maria Papadimitriou on the occasion of Documenta 14© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Rick Lowe

Rick Lowe, Victoria Square Project, Athens, 2016–

Social sculpture conceived in collaboration with Maria Papadimitriou on the occasion of Documenta 14
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Rick Lowe

About

Rick Lowe’s extensive body of work in painting, drawing, and installation is paired with numerous collaborative projects, undertaken in the spirit and tradition of “social sculpture.” Working closely with individuals and communities, Lowe has identified myriad ways to exercise creativity in the context of everyday activities, harnessing it to explore concerns around equity and justice. Through such undertakings as Black Wall Street Journey (2018–), a multifaceted citywide project for which he installed an information ticker in a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, and Greenwood Art Project (2018–21), where he worked with local artists and others in Alabama to raise awareness of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Lowe has developed a highly flexible practice centered on nurturing relationships and catalyzing change.

Now based in Houston, Lowe was born in Russell County in rural Alabama. Among his earliest works are figurative “anti-paintings” derived from the aesthetics and functionality of protest signage. Engaging with issues such as police brutality, homelessness, poverty, and war, among others, these works were produced in collaboration with social justice groups and gatherings including community centers, protest rallies, and conferences.

This work led Lowe to explore further the constructs that underlie political and social systems. Influenced by Joseph Beuys’s concept of social sculpture, he became interested in developing projects aimed at the transformation of civic structures and sites. To this end, in 1993 he cofounded Project Row Houses in Houston’s Third Ward, a historically significant and culturally charged African American neighborhood. Conceived in collaboration with artists James Bettison (1958–1997), Bert Long, Jr. (1940–2013), Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith—as well as with neighbors and other creative thinkers, Project Row Houses transformed a small area of derelict shotgun houses into a vibrant cultural district. To this day, the project continues to unite groups and pool resources, manifesting sustainable opportunities for artists, young mothers, small businesses, and local residents.

Lowe’s work in Houston inspired him to initiate and participate in other community enterprises throughout the United States and abroad, including the artist-driven redevelopment organization Watts House Project in Los Angeles (1996–2012); a collaboration with British architect David Adjaye on a project for the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park (2005); and the production of Trans.lation: Vickery Meadow, a group of six pop-up community markets, for the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas (2013). Among his initiatives are the Victoria Square Project (2016–23), in the Victoria Square neighborhood of Athens, produced in collaboration with Maria Papadimitriou in the context of Documenta 14. By establishing spaces of cross-cultural dialogue, Lowe and Papadimitriou have helped make connections between immigrants, refugees, and locals possible in a community marked by xenophobic tensions following the onset of the refugee crisis in Greece.

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Rick Lowe's painting "Diplopia" from 2023, it is acrylic and paper collage on canvas

Notes to Selves, Trains of Thought

Dieter Roelstraete, curator at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago and coeditor of a recent monograph on Rick Lowe, writes on Lowe’s journey from painting to community-based projects and back again in this essay from the publication. At the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, during the 60th Biennale di Venezia, Lowe will exhibit new paintings that develop his recent motifs to further explore the arch in architecture.

Detail of Lauren Halsey sculpture depicting praying hands, planets, and other symbol against red and green background

Black Futurity: Lessons in (Art) History to Forge a Path Forward

Jon Copes asks, What can Black History Month mean in the year 2024? He looks to a selection of scholars and artists for the answer.

Rick Lowe, Tom Finkelpearl, and Eugenie Tsai

In Conversation
Rick Lowe, Tom Finkelpearl, and Eugenie Tsai

Join Gagosian for a conversation between Rick Lowe and his longtime friends Tom Finkelpearl, author and former commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Eugenie Tsai, senior curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, inside Lowe’s exhibition Meditations on Social Sculpture, at Gagosian, New York. The trio discusses their shared interest in transforming social structures and the evolution of Lowe’s new paintings from his ongoing community projects.

Still from "In Conversation: David Adjaye, Rick Lowe, and Thelma Golden"

In Conversation
David Adjaye, Rick Lowe, and Thelma Golden

Rick Lowe and Sir David Adjaye join Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, for a conversation on the occasion of the exhibition Social Works at Gagosian, New York. The trio explore Adjaye and Lowe’s shared interests in architecture, community building, and the relationship between space and the Black body.

Rick Lowe painting in his studio.

Behind the Art
Rick Lowe: In the Studio

Join Rick Lowe in his Houston studio as he speaks about his recent paintings, describing their connections to his long engagement with the activity of dominoes and to his community-based projects created in the tradition of social sculpture.

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey Manifesto #1, 2021, acrylic and paper collage on paper, 141 × 115 inches (358.1 × 292.1 cm).

Social Works: Rick Lowe and Walter Hood

Rick Lowe and Walter Hood speak about Black space, the built environment, and history as a footing for moving forward as part of “Social Works,” a supplement guest edited by Antwaun Sargent for the Summer 2021 issue of the Quarterly.

Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006), on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Rick Lowe (New York: Gagosian, 2023)

In Conversation

Rick Lowe
Dieter Roelstraete

Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 6pm
Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Chicago
www.semcoop.com

Rick Lowe and Dieter Roelstraete, curator of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, will be in conversation at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago, in partnership with the Neubauer CollegiumThe pair will discuss the artist’s recent monograph—the first to present a comprehensive, career-spanning account of Lowe’s art and social practice. Copublished by Gagosian and the Neubauer Collegium, the book was coedited by Roelstraete and also features an essay by the curator. The event is free to attend and will include a question-and-answer session.

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Rick Lowe (New York: Gagosian, 2023)

Left: Rick Lowe. Photo: Brent Reaney. Middle: Dieter Roelstraete. Photo: Richard Pilnik. Right: Abigail Winograd. Photo: Cara Romero

In Conversation

Rick Lowe, Dieter Roelstraete, Abigail Winograd

Friday, April 19, 2024, 3pm
Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice
polomusealeveneto.beniculturali.it

Join Gagosian and Museo di Palazzo Grimani for a conversation between Rick Lowe; Dieter Roelstraete, curator of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago; and Abigail Winograd, commissioner and curator of the United States Pavilion at the 60th Biennale di Venezia. The talk will take place inside The Arch within the Arc, featuring new paintings by Lowe inspired by the Palazzo’s historic chambers, the urban dynamics of Venice, and the arc as a visual motif. The group will discuss the exhibition in the context of Lowe’s overall practice, as well as Gagosian’s recently published monograph on the artist, which was coedited by Roelstraete and features essays by both curators. The event is free with museum admission; reservations are recommended. 

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Left: Rick Lowe. Photo: Brent Reaney. Middle: Dieter Roelstraete. Photo: Richard Pilnik. Right: Abigail Winograd. Photo: Cara Romero

Sarah Sze, Turning and Turning, 2024 © Sarah Sze. Photo: Maris Hutchinson

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2024

March 27–30, 2024
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is participating in Art Basel Hong Kong 2024 with a selection of works by international contemporary artists. The works on view, which embrace a dizzying variety of subjects and approaches, see the participating artists identify fresh ways to disrupt established histories of abstraction and figuration, and instill sculptural and painterly representations of the natural world with complex cultural significance.

Sarah Sze, Turning and Turning, 2024 © Sarah Sze. Photo: Maris Hutchinson

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Museum Exhibitions

Urs Fischer, Horse/Bed, 2013, installation view, Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome © Urs Fischer. Photo: Alberto Novelli, courtesy Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica

On View

Effetto Notte
Nuovo Realismo Americano

Through July 14, 2024
Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome
barberinicorsini.org

This exhibition’s title was borrowed from a work by Lorna Simpson, Day for Night (2018), which translates to Effetto Notte in Italian. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Flaminia Gennari Santori in collaboration with the Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, the exhibition features more than 150 artworks from the collection of Tony and Elham Salamé that interrogate the meanings and functions of figuration in contemporary art and address questions around the notion of realism and the representation of truth in painting. Work by Derrick Adams, Louise Bonnet, Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fischer, Theaster Gates, Duane Hanson, Rick Lowe, Richard Prince, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Sterling Ruby, Anna Weyant, Stanley Whitney, and Christopher Wool is included.

Urs Fischer, Horse/Bed, 2013, installation view, Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome © Urs Fischer. Photo: Alberto Novelli, courtesy Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica

Installation view, Rick Lowe: The Arch within the Arc, Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, April 17–November 24, 2024. Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

On View

Rick Lowe
The Arch within the Arc

Through November 24, 2024
Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice
polomusealeveneto.beniculturali.it

Inspired by the architecture of the Museo di Palazzo Grimani and the urban dynamics of Venice, The Arch within the Arc features new paintings by Rick Lowe that emerged from his consideration of the arch in architecture. Composed with acrylic paint and paper collage on canvas, the vibrant works balance geometric motifs and improvisational techniques. Radiating outward and turning in on themselves, Lowe’s images materialize via a process of painterly construction and deconstruction that evokes infrastructure, mapping, and the experience of moving through the city. The paintings meditate on spatial, temporal, and social relationships, in keeping with the artist’s interest in linking civic practice and visual expression. Presented in collaboration with Gagosian, the exhibition opens immediately prior to the commencement of the 60th Biennale di Venezia.

Installation view, Rick Lowe: The Arch within the Arc, Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, April 17–November 24, 2024. Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Rick Lowe, Fire #4: This Time Athens, 2023, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC © Rick Lowe Studio

On View

Revolutions
Art from the Hirshhorn Collection, 1860–1960

Through April 20, 2025
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
hirshhorn.si.edu

Revolutions is a major survey of 270 artworks by 126 artists from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s permanent collection. Celebrating the museum’s fiftieth anniversary, the exhibition aims to capture the shifting cultural landscapes of a century defined by new currents in science and philosophy and ever-increasing mechanization. Shown alongside these historic works are contributions from nineteen contemporary artists whose practices demonstrate how many revolutionary ideas from a hundred years ago remain critical today. Work by Francis Bacon, Amoako Boafo, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Helen FrankenthalerRick LoweSally Mann, Man Ray, Henry MoorePablo PicassoNathaniel Mary Quinn, and Cy Twombly is included.

Rick Lowe, Fire #4: This Time Athens, 2023, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC © Rick Lowe Studio

Lauren Halsey, Loda Land, 2020 © Lauren Halsey

Closed

Multiplicity
Blackness in Contemporary American Collage

February 18–May 12, 2024
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
www.mfah.org

Multiplicity presents over eighty major collage and collage-informed works by fifty-two living artists. The works reflect the breadth and complexity of Black identity, exploring diverse conceptual concerns such as cultural hybridity, notions of beauty, gender fluidity, and historical memory. From paper, photographs, fabric, and salvaged or repurposed materials, these artists create unified compositions that express the endless possibilities of Black-constructed narratives within our fragmented society. This exhibition originated at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee. Work by Derrick Adams, Lauren Halsey, and Rick Lowe is included.

Lauren Halsey, Loda Land, 2020 © Lauren Halsey

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