Rachel Lachowicz is a Los Angeles-based artist, associate professor of studio art, and chair of Claremont Graduate University’s Art Department. She is known for turning her witty eye on the male-centric world of Modernism and for making radical incursions into the canon of art history by reconfiguring famous works. She falls under a multitude of headings: feminist, appropriationist, post-minimalist, conceptual artist, and conceptual sculptor. Labels aside, her work has contributed to a ground-breaking reconceptualization of the feminist position.
Lachowicz was born in San Francisco, California, in 1964 and received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her professional history covers more than 25 years of conceptual art making, and her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Palm Springs Museum of Art, the Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Lichtenstein in Vienna, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award.
The term “lipstick feminist” grew out of a 1980s–1990s philosophy but, more specifically, the art world came to use that term to refer to the work of Rachel Lachowicz, among a few others. She explores the relationship of identity and the politics of mark-making, predominately through the use of cosmetics. Lachowicz makes both discreet objects and large-scale installations that are visually lush and at times sexually provocative, always with a deliberate repurposing of meaning.
Lachowicz has more than 20 years of teaching experience at the graduate level, and her lecture résumé is extensive. She was a Santa Monica Arts Commissioner and a member of the Santa Monica Public Art Committee, and she served for 12 years on the board of the Santa Monica Arts Foundation before coming to CGU.
True Colors. 2016. Solo exhibition. Prescott, AZ: Prescott College Art Gallery.
“Portfolio: Material Specificity and the Index of the Feminine.” Art Journal 72, no. 4 (2013): 30–33.
Solo exhibitions. 2013, 2010, 2005. Santa Monica, CA: Shoshana Wayne Gallery.
“Material Specificity & the Index of the Feminine.” Conference presentation. New York: College Art Association. 2013.
“Cell: Interlocking Construction.” 2010. Plexiglas and cosmetic compound. 144 x 125 x 53. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
“Sculpture as Strategy, Methodology vs. Medium.” Conference presentation. San Francisco, CA: ReModel, Sculpture Education Now at CCA. 2012.