A primer on contemporary artist Lauren Halsey’s latest site-specific installation, outlining her process, past work, and influences drawn from Afrofuturism, ancient Egyptian iconography, and Los Angeles
Lauren Halsey is known for her sculptures, mixed media works, and site-specific installations that remix (or, as Halsey says, “funkify”) history by combining signs, symbols, and architecture from the past, present, and future. In her new installation for The Met’s Roof Garden Commission series, she brings together ancient Egyptian–inspired iconography and sculpture with signage and texts drawn from the artist’s local community in South Central Los Angeles. Accompanied by new photography and unpublished sketches from Halsey’s studio, this compact volume contains an insightful essay by curator Abraham Thomas that examines Halsey’s artistic process and considers this installation in the context of her past work. In a revealing interview with poet Douglas Kearney, the artist discusses her diverse influences—which include ancient Egyptian relief carving, funk music, Afrofuturism, and the architecture of L.A.— and elaborates on the importance of community building and engagement in the spaces she creates.
Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 18–October 22, 2023)
Abraham Thomas is the Daniel Brodsky Curator of Modern Architecture, Design, and Decorative Arts in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Douglas Kearney is associate professor of creative writing at University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
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