Louise Lawler: Birdcalls

April 27, 2019January 5, 2020

In Louise Lawler’s Birdcalls (1978–81), the names of twenty-nine well-known male artists have been sounded out into birdcalls. Using her own voice, Lawler transforms each artist’s first and last name into a nuanced birdcall, ranging from a shrill squawk to manic chatter. Installed in moCa’s Kohl Interior Stair, the audio track is accompanied by the full list of artist names: Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Daniel Buren, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Neil Jenney, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Mario Merz, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner. Spotlighting Lawler’s successful male contemporaries at the time, Birdcalls directly addresses the skewed gender dynamics of the art world, pointing out the role that name recognition plays in establishing credibility, respect, and support. As timely now as it was when it was created, Lawler’s Birdcalls is a humorous yet poignant reminder that there is still work to be done.


All current exhibitions are funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Leadership Circle gifts from anonymous donors, Yuval Brisker, Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler, Margaret Cohen and Kevin Rahilly, Grosvie and Charlie Cooley, Becky Dunn, Lauren Rich Fine, Harriet Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Michelle and Richard Jeschelnig, Kohl Family, Jan Lewis, Toby Devan Lewis, Roy Minoff, and Scott and Kelly Mueller

All moCa Cleveland exhibitions are supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, and the continuing support of the Museum’s Board of Directors, patrons, and members