Louisa Armbrust’s art depicts the disasters of recess, the anxieties of gym class, and the deadly seriousness with which grown men and women attack their weekend exercises. Using imagery of games and sports, she traces the paradoxical presence of play in everyday life, a practice that is informed by theorists and philosophers such as Johan Huizinga, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Paolo Virno. Colorful pictograms and diagrams illustrate disorder, nonsense and useless actions to question ideologies of work, learning, leisure, and art.
Louisa Armbrust received an M.A. in Visual Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Awards include Artist in Residence at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, New York (2010-2011), Full Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center (2006), 2005 Biennial Blow Out Denver, and Honorable Mention at the Rocky Mountain Biennial 2004. Her work has been shown at museums and galleries including the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI, the Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, NY, the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, and Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia among others. She was born in Ottawa, Canada and grew up in Denver, Colorado. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
While in residence, Armbrust will focus on Blue Swimmer, a project that continues the use of play and the boundaries of rules as subjects for her work. The project examines the rules of competitive swimming to explore the boundaries between abstraction and representation, and between still and moving images.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist