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Rick Lowe

Meditations on Social Sculpture

September 8–October 22, 2022
541 West 24th Street, New York

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Installation video

Installation view with Rick Lowe, Untitled #060822 (2022) Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view with Rick Lowe, Untitled #060822 (2022)

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Installation view

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

Works Exhibited

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, Victoria Square Project: Open Borders, 2022 (detail) 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 (detail)

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

Rick Lowe, Untitled #060822, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 180 inches (365.8 × 457.2 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #060822, 2022

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 180 inches (365.8 × 457.2 cm)
© 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. 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. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

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

Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses: Biggers and Beuys, 2021 (detail)

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

Rick Lowe, Untitled #020522, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 108 inches (365.8 × 274.3 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #020522, 2022

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 144 × 108 inches (365.8 × 274.3 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #010722, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 144 inches (182.9 × 365.8 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #010722, 2022

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 144 inches (182.9 × 365.8 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #052922, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 84 × 84 inches (213.4 × 213.4 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #052922, 2022

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

Rick Lowe, Untitled #010122, 2022 Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 72 × 96 inches (182.9 × 243.8 cm)© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

Rick Lowe, Untitled #010122, 2022

Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 72 × 96 inches (182.9 × 243.8 cm)
© Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas DuBrock

About

I realized that the patterns were simply mapping knowledge of the time I spent with people.
—Rick Lowe

Gagosian is pleased to present Meditations on Social Sculpture, an exhibition of new works by Rick Lowe, including paintings that emerged from his Project Row Houses (1993–2018) and Victoria Square Project (2016–), as well as new abstract works that forge links between the conceptual and communal aspects of his practice. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first in New York. Lowe’s work is included in the 2022 Whitney Biennial and will be featured in Notes on the Great Migration, a solo exhibition at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, University of Chicago, opening on October 25, 2022.

Lowe’s current paintings evolved from ongoing public community projects—works of “social sculpture” that saw him move beyond the conventions of visual practice by developing and exercising skills in civic organization, political agitation, real-estate development, and architectural criticism. Over the past three decades, Lowe has evolved a mutable practice centered on catalyzing change through the transformation of shared structures and sites. To this end, in 1993, he cofounded Project Row Houses in Houston’s Third Ward, a historically and culturally significant African American neighborhood. Conceived in collaboration with other artists and creative thinkers, Project Row Houses transformed a small area of derelict shotgun houses into a vibrant cultural district. Lowe has continued such community-based art programs with Greenwood Art Project in Tulsa, Oklahoma (2018–21) and Black Wall Street Journey (2021–) in Chicago, for which he worked with local artists and residents to raise awareness of issues of migration, wealth creation, and the destruction of community around the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

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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.

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.

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.

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Left: Rick Lowe. Photo: Brent Reaney. Middle: Tom Finkelpearl. Right: Eugenie Tsai

In Conversation

Rick Lowe, Tom Finkelpearl, Eugenie Tsai

Thursday, September 29, 2022, 6pm
Gagosian, 541 West 24th Street, New York

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, 541 West 24th Street, New York. The trio will discuss how Lowe’s new paintings evolve from his ongoing community projects, moving beyond the conventions of visual practice, as well as their shared interest in transforming social structures and policies to effect change. The event has reached capacity. 

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Left: Rick Lowe. Photo: Brent Reaney. Middle: Tom Finkelpearl. Right: Eugenie Tsai