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  Jean Lowe
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion
February 14 - March 15, 2008
 
For years, Lowe has created humorous and subversive installations that question intellectual and cultural institutions and societal preconceptions. Using papier-mâché and enamel paint, she deftly fabricates all the elements needed for her fully-realized interiors. The slightly cartoonish and disarming objects poke fun at weighty subjects as far-ranging as intellectual pretension, eating disorders, factory farming, male aggression, and the destruction of the natural environment. Lowe’s latest work continues her conflation of high cultural aspirations with the psychological detritus of American pop culture. In this exhibition she uses the ostensibly enriching and elevating institutions of literature and music as frameworks upon which to skewer contemporary self-absorption, neuroses, and consumerism.
 
       At first glance, Lowe’s installation appears full of tasteful, minimalist wooden bookshelves of the style used in bookstores or small libraries, containing scores of books with vibrantly colored and illustrated covers. However, closer inspection reveals that the shelves and individual books are hand-painted papier-mâché facsimiles. Lowe’s invented titles and subject matter quickly and comically undermine the lofty trappings of her volumes. Some of her favorite targets include self-help books, childhood stories, religious panegyrics and the excessive reliance on pharmaceutical cures. Above all, Lowe’s sense of humor dominates. Lowe’s installation also features a baby grand piano--one of the trappings used to bestow high culture upon any household. The papier-mâché replica sits atop her version of an oriental rug, but instead of issuing music, it serves as a snack bar. As with all her work, Lowe manages to highlight the superficial and self-involved nature of our society with humor and generosity of spirit.
 
 
Partial installation view of Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Mixed media
Varying dimensions

Partial installation view of Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Mixed media
Varying dimensions

Partial installation view of Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Mixed media
Varying dimensions
 
Partial installation view of Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Mixed media
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 1
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 1
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 2
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 2
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 3
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 3
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 3
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 3
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 4
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 4
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 4
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 4
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 5
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 5
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 5
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 5
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 6
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 6
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 7
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 7
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 8
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 8
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions

Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 9
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
 
Achieve and Maintain a More Powerful Delusion,1998-2008
Detail of bookcase 9
Enamel on papier-mâché
Varying dimensions
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