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Ordinary Pictures

Ordinary Pictures

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Published by Walker Art Center

Edited with text by Eric Crosby. Text by Thomas Beard, Lane Relyea, Eva Respini.

Featuring works by some 30 artists, Ordinary Pictures surveys a range of conceptual image-based practices since the 1960s through the lens of the stock photograph, an under-researched yet pervasive aspect of our visual culture. Despite its apparent throwaway status, the stock image comprises the primary commodity of a $1 billion global industry with far-reaching effects in the marketplace and the public sphere.

Focusing on the industry’s distinctive modes of production, distribution, and presentation, Ordinary Pictures foregrounds the work of artists who have done much to probe, mimic, and critique this overlooked aspect of our visual environment. Spanning generations, movements, and artistic strategies—from early Pop work, avant-garde film, Pictures Generation appropriation, institutional critique, and a range of other materialist, picture-based activities—the exhibition also considers contemporary art’s own complicit function as an ever-expanding industrial image economy.

The exhibition includes works by Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Steven Baldi, Mary Ellen Bartley, Lucas Blalock, Tom Burr, Sarah Charlesworth, Anne Collier, Phil Collins, Michael de Courcy, Liz Deschenes, John Divola, Aleksandra Domanović, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, Jack Goldstein, Rachel Harrison, Robert Heinecken, Leslie Hewitt, William E. Jones, Owen Land, Elad Lassry, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Guthrie Lonergan, Elizabeth McAlpine, Steve McQueen, Scott Nedrelow, Albert Oehlen, Jack Pierson, Peter Piller, Seth Price, Richard Prince, Amanda Ross-Ho, Edward Ruscha, Stephen Shore, Sturtevant, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, Jiro Takamatsu, Mungo Thomson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tseng Kwong Chi, Julia Wachtel, Andy Warhol, and Christopher Williams.

Curator: Eric Crosby, Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Carnegie Museum of Art


  • Walker Art Center, 2016
  • Spiral bound, 8 x 12 inches
  • 208 pages, 146 color/25 bw
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