Ordinary Pictures
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Ordinary Pictures

Featuring works by some 45 artists, Ordinary Pictures surveys a range of conceptual picture-based practices since the 1960s through the lens of the stock photograph and other forms of industrial image production. Despite its apparent throwaway status, the stock image is 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 and movements—from early Pop work, avant-garde film, and Pictures Generation appropriation to more recent collage, rephotography, and video work—the exhibition also considers contemporary art’s own function as an ever-expanding global 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; with Misa Jeffereis

Exhibition Catalogue

Featuring a unique design reminiscent of photography manuals, this highly collectible book includes texts by exhibition curator Eric Crosby, Thomas Beard, Misa Jeffereis, Lane Relyea, and Eva Respini as well as a special flexidisc recording by artist Jack Goldstein. Softcover, $50 ($45 Walker members).

Ordinary Pictures is sponsored by

  • Dorsey

    The exhibition is made possible by generous support from Jan and Ellen Breyer, Karen and Ken Heithoff, Michael J. Peterman and David A. Wilson, Robert and Rebecca Pohlad, and Elizabeth Redleaf. Additional support is provided by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Support for the exhibition catalogue is provided by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Walker Art Center publications.