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LOUISA ARMBRUST
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus



ARTIST STATEMENT: I am fascinated by the conflicting characteristics of play. Play is described as the opposite of work, but is used to train children to be 'team players' in the workplace. What if our co-workers were always trying to bite us? People take up sports to relax and have fun, then take them very, very seriously. Think of parents at a Little League game or packs of weekend warriors in head-to-toe Lycra riding their bikes while shouting to each other about their VO2 max. Play is in every facet of life. It is not good or bad, but it forms and informs our world. My work explores how our never-ending impulse to play involves disorder, nonsense and useless action that destabilize fixed ideologies of work, learning, and leisure. Using paintings, drawings, prints and installations I trace scenarios occurring in sports and games to show the limits of the rules of the game. What happens when a player leaves the boundaries of a painting? Imagine a badminton birdie so large it is a threat to national security. My projects use techniques and visual materials borrowed from commercial purposes: stenciling, digital prints and laser-cut adhesive vinyl, how-to illustrations and signage. With games as my language and instructional diagrams as my ‘alphabet’, I examine the paradox of play, on the one hand an end in itself, done for its own pure enjoyment and on the other, an instrumental tool teaching ideals of fair play and sportsmanship.
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  • In the Dark Book 4 Drawing 27
    2017
    Sumi ink and watercolor crayon

  • In the Dark Book 4 Drawing 25
    2017
    sumi ink and watercolor crayon

  • In the Dark Book 4 Drawing 48
    2017
    Sumi ink and watercolor crayon

  • Blue Swimmer at Activate Market Street - daytime view
    2015
    cyanotypes on cotton fabric

  • Blue Swimmer at Activate Market Street - night view
    2015
    cyanotypes on cotton fabric

  • Blue Swimmer Frame 002
    2011
    Cyanotype on fabric

  • Blue Swimmer Frame 004
    2011
    Cyanotype on fabric

  • Blue Swimmer Frame 003
    2011
    Cyanotype on fabric

  • Goal 1
    2011
    Gouache and ink on paper

  • Free Range Hockey: Melee 1
    2008
    acrylic on canvas   30" x 40"

  • Free Range Hockey: Scenario 3
    2008
    acrylic on canvas   20" x 16"

  • Free Range Hockey: Melee 2
    2009
    acrylic on canvas   40" x 30"

  • Stirring dung with a stick
    2007
    ink and watercolor on paper   11" x 8.5"
    Drawing from the Children's Games Project, a multi-disciplinary project based on a set of drawings depicting the games played in Pieter Bruegel's 1560 painting Children's Games.

  • Tug-o-war
    2007
    ink and watercolor on paper   11" x 8.5"
    Drawing from the Children's Games Project, a multi-disciplinary project based on a set of drawings depicting the games played in Pieter Bruegel's 1560 painting Children's Games.

  • Odds and evens, King of the Hill, Tossing hats, Jousting
    2007
    drawing, photo documentation and detail from Pieter Bruegel’s painting Children’s Games
    Drawing, photographs and detail images from the Children's Games Project, a multi-disciplinary project based on a set of drawings depicting the games played in Pieter Bruegel's 1560 painting

  • Battle of
    2005
    digital drawing on archival paper   24" x 30"
    from series of 11 Badminton scenarios

  • Strayballs III: Wrath of Balls
    2005
    digital drawing on archival paper   36" x 36"
    from a series of 8 playground scenarios

  • We Are Here to Play
    2003
    cut adhesive vinyl on showerboard (laminated panel)   96" x 384"

  • The Hazards of Dodgeball
    2005
    acrylic on canvas   44"x 54"
    From a series of three dodgeball scenarios

  • Red Rover: Victory
    2005
    acrylic on canvas   30" x 40"
    From a series of three Red Rover scenarios
 








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