KAREN LOFGREN (Canadian 1976- )
Karen Lofgren’s work incorporates pop-cultural, punk, and minimal aesthetics—with reverence for ritual, material, and process. She is recognized for darkly delving into the collective unconscious through sculpture and installation, as well as video, photography, sound, and works on paper. The work taps into cultural anxiety, contemporary ritual, and ancient mythology through objects and environments at life scale. Referencing recent practices such as feminism and self-actualization as well as mythology, and ancient cultures—historical and philosophical content is transformed to create objects and environments that may reflect and then dissolve the familiar—reaching into the void. Her work is described by critics as tapping into our collective unconscious and bringing up questions of secrecy and power by way of PT Barnum showmanship. Investigating the relationship between alchemy, divination, minimalism, and contemporary sculptural practices, her work uses a dose of the fantastic with potent uncertainty, and a subtle sleight of institutional critique to reveal deep and troubling complexities below the surface.
Karen Lofgren is a Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based, artist who completed her MFA at CalArts in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include Trajectory Object c. 2000-2050 with High Desert Test Sites; Stabilizers at Armory Center for the Arts and Blood Sister at royale projects: contemporary art, as well as shows at LACE; Pitzer Art Galleries; PØST; and Machine Project. Group exhibitions include Commonwealth & Council; LACMA; Human Resources; Bank of America; Carter & Citizen; Vancouver Biennale; and OCAD University. Her projects have received support from the Canada Council for the Arts; Durfee Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Ranch Projects; and West of Rome Public Art. Her work has been reviewed in The Los Angeles Times and ArtForum.