Baby Grand

05 - Jean Lowe, Baby Grand, Bookshelf Prints, Lost Time, Last Call, and Love for Sale and Look 20 Years Younger

Jean Lowe
American, b. 1960

Baby Grand: Piano, Bench, Rug, Plant, Bucket
Enamel, Marine enamel on cloth mache, fiberglass, foamboard, cardboard
55 x 80 x 80 inches
Loan from the artist

Bookshelf Prints
Unique inket prints on poly-metal
54 x 37.5 inches each
Loans from the artist

Lost Time
Ephemera in a variety of media
Dimensions variable
Loans from the artist

Last Call
Casein on panel, casein on papier mache, casein on cloth mache
Dimensions variable
Loan from the artist

Love for Sale and Look 20 Years Younger
Enamel on panel, collaged photographs
Dimensions variable
Loans from the artist; Gift from the Kathryn C. Wanlass Foundation (Overstock!)

“A grand piano is an instrument that signals class and taste. Here I’ve reduced it to being a cooler serving chips and drinks. It's high brought low, and the piano offers up immediate gratification as a snack dispenser. I actually built Baby Grand to be able to hold ice and serve beverages cold.”

“These Bookcases are constructed from photographs of books I've been making for almost 30 years. The photographs of the books have been collaged onto digitally created bookshelves. Each of the shelves has tomes loosely organized around a theme. I like the juxtaposition of image and text and employing humor in a provocative way to discuss social issues in a really circuitous fashion.”

Lost Time is meant to suggest the pages from an ephemera auction catalog. An auction of things like an old phone book, an airsickness bag, old broadsides, a page of a manuscript, or a collection of driver's licenses. Just kind of nonsense stuff, but here value has been ascribed or estimated and these items are all due to be on the chopping block. Objects like the phone book are things of the past. So this installation is both about the passage of time and aging, as well as how we create and assign value.”

Last Call consists of five paintings that represent pages, or covers, from catalogs for miscellaneous goods. I started receiving this catalog, Dr. Leonard’s, a few years ago and I was really kind of totally mystified. This catalogue became the impetus for doing these pieces. Dr. Leonard's catalog was almost hard to satirize because it was so odd. However, the mood of it seemed to fit well with the cultural atmosphere fanned by political leadership at the time. So it's combination of art historical reference–like the Willem Kalf Dutch still life painting quoted in Elegance Defined—and advertising imagery and language. The little crumpled carpet in the corner there could have popped out of Elegance Defined.”

These large panel paintings are a kind of continuation of my installation practice because of the way the viewer enters the space. There are no people depicted in these paintings, and although they're two dimensional, I feel like they're paintings that you could almost enter. Overstock! in particular is like a two-dimensional version of Discount Barn (the installation in the first gallery). This painting draws specifically on the decorative interior of Nymphenburg Place outside of Munich. Again, I paired that environment with the excess of merchandise we confront daily. So excessive decoration and the insanity of excessive merch. I've included a couple of little collages to the right to show the kind of reference I worked from for these four paintings.”