Lisa Lapinski: Drunk Hawking

January 24 – March 6, 2020

Lisa Lapinski’s indelible practice is informed by a wide-ranging cultural milieu that juxtaposes imagery from popular culture, such as characters from children’s books and animated series, with forms taken from graphics, turn-of-the-century advertisements, and religious symbols. Working with semiotics in particular—the study of signs, symbols, and the interpretation thereof—her investigations result in sculptures and two-dimensional works that are an amalgamation of symbols, patterns, and imagery culled from an array of sources. Lapinski’s works are therefore both strikingly familiar and enigmatic. This incongruency imbues her objects with a strange, unresolved appeal that is reflected in their conceptual malleability. This lack of fixity is freeing, allowing for ideas and forms to cross-pollinate within a single work, or cluster of works, whereby the significance is determined by the viewer.

Drunk Hawking is a survey of Lapinski’s expansive practice to date, incorporating over twenty-five key works from the late 1990s to the present. Installed together, the relationships between distinct objects and ideas produced over her career are illuminated in new ways, underscoring the artist’s interest in repurposing and reconfiguring works from her oeuvre. These recurrences elucidate the diverse and nuanced facets of Lapinski’s practice across time.

This exhibition is organized by MacKenzie Stevens, director, with Clare Donnelly, gallery manager, and Kaila Schedeen, 2019–2020 curatorial fellow, Visual Arts Center.


Lisa Lapinski (b. 1967, Palo Alto, CA) received a BA from University of California, San Diego (1990) and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design (2000). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Rice University. She has had solo exhibitions at Sylvia’s Sculpture Garden, Houston (2019); Kristina Kite, Los Angeles (2017); BA&D, Dusseldorf (2015); Johann König, Berlin (2006, 2011, 2014); Taka Ishii Gallery, Kyoto (2010); Shürmann Berlin (2009); MOCA, Los Angeles (2008); Midway Contemporary Art (2007); and Richard Telles (2001, 2003, 2008); amongst others. Lapinski will participate in a two-person exhibition at Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston in January 2020. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Moody Art Center, Houston (2018); Wallspace, New York (2014); Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam (2014); Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2013); Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles (2011); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2010); MOCA, Los Angeles (2010); Gladstone Gallery, New York (2010), the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009); The Approach, London (2008); Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (2007); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2007); Sprueth Magers Projekte, Munich (2007); Whitney Museum of Art, New York (2006); Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (2005); and Galerie Nelson, Paris (2005). She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.


Lisa Lapinski: Messenger Boys

cover of Lisa Lapinski: Miss Swiss

Exhibition catalogue available through Inventory Press

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