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Artforum: Preview of This Brush for Hire: Norm Laich and Many Other Artists

Curated by alumnus John Baldessari and Fine Arts Chair Meg Cranston, Show Opens June 3rd
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer

At the art-world Oscars, Norm Laich would be a perennial shoo-in for best supporting role. The Los Angeles–based artist, sign painter, and fabricator has been instrumental in producing the iconic works of a great number of big-name leads, including Kay Rosen, Stephen Prina, Mike Kelley, and Lawrence Weiner. This survey, organized by John Baldessari and Meg Cranston, both of whom have worked with Laich, brings together a selection of some twenty of these and other artists’ discrete canvases, wall paintings, sign works, and large-scale installations (including a new site-specific work by Arturo Herrera) that Laich helped realize over the past three decades. A new short doc by Pauline Stella Sanchez takes the place of a catalogue and will be viewable in the exhibition and online. Featuring interviews with Laich and many of the artists who worked with him, the film expands on the exhibition’s recognition of the complexities of collaborative artistic production.

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You can see This Brush for Hire: Norm Laich and Many Other Artists at the ICA LA from June 3 through September 2, 2018. Special programming is available on Sunday, June 3rd at the ICA LA Open House event, including Norm Laich in conversation with Meg Cranston at 3pm. See details.

Image: Kay Rosen, Various Strata, 1996/1998–99, acrylic on wall, 12 × 12'. From “This Brush for Hire: Norm Laich and Many Other Artists.”