Steve Wolfe on Paper

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
November 20, 2010–February 20, 2011

For the last twenty years, Steve Wolfe has created objects and drawings that investigate intersections among material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory. Wolfe’s art represents objects of cultural mass dissemination—books and records. His painted objects employ the tradition of trompe l’oeil, and often literally fool the eye on first inspection.

Indebted to Pop Art, Wolfe’s work manifests an updated approach to craft. and an almost erotic representation of the fact that one can fall in love with that which is ephemeral (ideas, music). His carefully considered subjects include reproductions of books by Gertude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Raymond Chandler, Frank O’Hara, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce, thus creating a portrait of the artist as a perpetual student.

This exhibition focuses on the artist’s works on paper, many of which combine aspects of drawing, collage and printmaking.

Steve Wolfe on Paper and catalogue are collaboratively produced by the Menil Collection and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Organized by Franklin Sirmans, curator of contemporary art at LACMA, and Carter Foster, curator of drawings at the Whitney Museum.

This exhibition is generously supported by Laura and John Arnold, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Lois and George Stark, Scott and Judy Nyquist, Michael Zilkha and the City of Houston. Steve Wolfe on Paper was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and The Menil Collection, Houston.

Image: Steve Wolfe, Untitled (Do You Believe In Magic?), 1992. Oil, enamel, lithography and modeling paste on board, 13 3/8 x 13 1/8 inches (framed), Collection of James and Debbie Burrows.

Untitled (Study For Stories Of Artists & Writers)
Steve Wolfe
Untitled (Study For Nine Stories)
Steve Wolfe
Untitled (Study For Silence)
Steve Wolfe
Untitled, (Study For Mumm/Jose Cuervo Cartons)
Steve Wolfe

This Weekend

Tomorrow we have a new exhibition opening—our sixth new special exhibition since October: Steve Wolfe on Paper. Wolfe is a Italian-born, San Francisco-based artist who uses tromp l’oeil techniques to bring pop cultural objects like books and records to life. His drawings, collages, and prints on view in this exhibition almost beg to be touched (but, uh, don’t)...

Spine Sonnet: Jody Zellen on Steve Wolfe

Lately, we’ve been inviting artists to respond to art on view at LACMA in the form of web-based projects. On a recent visit, Jody Zellen suggested a project inspired by the Steve Wolfe show, on view through February 20. Jody’s piece, Spine Sonnet, generates an image composed of fourteen spines from books in her nonfiction library. Refresh the browser to cycle through various combinations...