Laura Owens

Born 1959 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA

Combining high and low, fine art and handicraft, Joel Otterson has for more than thirty years produced sculptures and decorative arts inspired in equal measure by middle-class American (specifically, Californian) domestic spaces and queer culture. The chandeliers on view in the Biennial are constructed from inexpensive thrift store glassware and modeled after late-nineteenth-century Baccarat “birdcage chandeliers” as well as Marcel Duchamp’s famous Bottle Rack (1914), a reference that brings Otterson’s work into dialogue with the tradition of readymade sculpture. Also on view, a curtain, quilt, and camp tent likewise merge the everyday with the exquisite in a mode that embraces the irony of camp aesthetics (the pun, therefore, intended).