Lauren Kalman is a visual artist whose practice is invested in installation, video, photography and performance. Through her work she investigates perspectives of beauty, body image, value, and consumer culture. Raised in the Midwest, Kalman completed her MFA in Art from the Ohio State University and earned a BFA with a focus in metals from the Massachusetts College of Art. She has taught at institutions including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. She currently lives in Detroit and is a Professor at Wayne State University. She exhibits and lectures internationally. Her work had been featured in exhibitions at venues including the Centro Cultural Recoleta, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, and the deCordova Museum. Her video work has also been screened in several international film festivals. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Smithsonian Musuem of American Art among others and her work is currently on exhibit in Multiple Exposures at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and will be featured in the upcoming Body Embellishment at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The social implications of visual and material culture deeply interest me. I am invested in the fields of craft and art because as material culture, they suggest cultural histories, beliefs, values, and ideas that may contradict or inform written history. I believe in studio-based practices because they enable artists to interrogate ideas in ways that are researched and critical, yet speculative and open to a range of often unexpected outcomes. My own studio practice is in many ways discipline specific, and is rooted in an examination of jewelry and luxury goods as its subject. I am interested in the possibilities of working within the conditions that frame the discipline of Jewelry & Metalsmithing, and in mining the history, objects and subjects embedded in the field as content. What interests me about working within these limitations are the possibilities for reconsidering ideas within the field in an expanded way. While my subject is discipline specific, my research is a synthesis of ideas from a range of disparate disciplinary inquiries, enabling me to consider specific ideas from an expansive vantage point.