Before there was Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons and their brand of self-aware, “meta” art that serves as both commentary and appropriation, there was Louise Lawler. Born in 1947, the photographer’s work focuses on challenging prevailing art worlds, and systems of aesthetics. Under the assumption that taste and style is merely a byproduct of institutional spheres of influence, her work is cheeky – always presented with a wink. Along with other greats like Cindy Sherman and Barbara Krueger, these art stars came to be known as “The Pictures Generation” due to an eponymous exhibition at the Met.

Louise Lawler 87, 63, 93/2000, 1993-2000 Metro Pictures

Louise Lawler, 87, 63, 93/2000, (1993-2000), Cibachrome, Metro Pictures

Some of her best-known works include photographs of uniformed art handlers carefully transporting a Gerhard Richter painting (as if it were an holy relic, or a vestige of a lost culture) and a Damien Hirst spin-painting shown through a closet door.

Here is a modern take on a vaguely antiqued, yet very minimal room:

Louise Lawler Interior Design

  • Jonathan Adler Smart Phone DockCast in the shape of a rotary telephone, this porcelain docking station will keep a smartphone secure with a dash of old school style.
  • Ore International Off White Ceramic Table Lamp: A simple, contoured design adds a decorative element to any room. Topped with cream-colored nylon shade.
  • A Modern Digital Illustration by ColourscapeStudio:  “I’ve nicknamed this piece the Yarn Ball… it came to me as I was unpacking my craft box after moving house. I’d never really noticed the lines before other than a rolled up ball! Perfect for a minimalist home in neutrals, or your craft room in bright and cheerful colors, this print will certainly get some attention.”
  • The MIAC Whirlwind Jute Rug in Natural/Iron: Made as part of an exclusive collection of handwoven rugs with Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC). Hand braided from handspun jute by artisans in India, the printed pattern is inspired by design elements from an early 20th century Native basket.
  • Brick White Quilts and Shams by Villa Home: Welcome to the world of incomparable comfort, beauty and style. Enter an oasis of serenity: your bed, made with sumptuous Villa bedding designed to create a splendid haven, a place to escape the demands of everyday life.
  • “Dream” Sparkler art print by Lucy Hodkiewicz: Everyone’s favorite summer activity, drawing with sparklers, expertly captured in an instant. 
  • Safavieh Bali Brown Nesting Tables: A transitional design and an easy-to-match brown finish. The table can be un-stacked to add extra table space when entertaining. Made in Indonesia; a piece of paradise in your home.

 As seen on many feminist artist’s prints and advertisements, and quoted by Louise Lawler, “Whenever I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook.”

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Fornasetti

Ever since I first saw the seemingly etched face of a woman named Lina Cavalieri dripping in black and white halftones from candles, plastered on the backs of chairs, and resting on pillowcases, I needed to learn more about this  obsessive motif.

Piero Fornasetti and Lina CavalieriLeft / Right

Piero Fornasetti, an Italian sculptor-cum-interior designer and renowned Milanese painter, found the face in a 19th century magazine clipping.  There is something calming and curious about Cavalieri’s likeness, a modern Mona Lisa, her eyes follow you. And yet, for how many times the face has been stamped onto a plate or other objet d’art, it never becomes boring. A face, like a pattern, like a friendly sister or relative, I’ve grown close to her symmetry.

Piero Fornasetti and Lina CavalieriLeft / Right Original Source Unknown 

“What inspired me to create more than 500 variations on the face of a woman?” he once asked of himself. “I don’t know…I began to make them and I never stopped.” To date, Cavalieri’s ubiquitous face has been manufactured in thousands of ways. The artist crafted over 13,000 products in his lifetime which spanned 1913-1988.

Piero Fornasetti and Lina CavalieriTop / Bottom Left / Middle 1 / Bottom Right

“I do not believe in eras or times. I do not. I refuse to establish the value of things based on time.” – Piero Fornasetti

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