SIMPLE PLEASURES

MoMA Has a Sophisticated Distraction For Social Distancing

A page from a Louis Lawler coloring book

If you’re a parent, chances are you’re currently in dire need of ways to amuse your kids. The Museum of Modern Art has an answer—and one to keep adults busy during isolation, too. This week, MoMA rolled out a sophisticated coloring book version of “Why Pictures Now?,” its 2017 retrospective of the artist Louise Lawler. If you’re not familiar with the New York artist’s work, now’s the time to get acquainted—at the very least with her seminal 1972–1981 sound piece Birdcalls. (To protect herself on late-night walks home from the then burgeoning, male-dominated art scene in lower Manhattan, Lawler would loudly squawk the names of male art stars like Carl Andre, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol.) In any case, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize other works in the series of a dozen black-and-white line drawings. They’re adapted from Lawler’s photographs of artwork displays, meaning there are cameos from Lucio Fontana, On Kawara, John Baldessari, and Jeff Koons. Before printing out the PDF—or downloading it to fill in on Photoshop—take a look at all 12, here.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Still Life (Candle) (traced). 2003/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Bulbs (traced). 2005/2006/2019.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Closer than You Thought (traced). 2004/2005/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, (Bunny) Sculpture and Painting (traced). 1999/2019.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Life Expectancy (traced). 2010/2018.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Egg and Gun (traced). 2008/2016.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Big (traced). 2002/2003/2016.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Hand On Her Back (traced). 1997/1998/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Pollyanna (traced). 2007/2008/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Berlin (traced). 2000/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Pollock and Tureen (traced). 1984/2013.

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Louise Lawler, courtesy of MoMA

Louise Lawler, Twice Untitled (traced). 2004/2005/2019.