This exhibition of the unsettling, uncategorisable work of American artist Lutz Bacher (1943–2019) explores her use of music, sound and voice. Bacher’s work oscillates between the conceptual and the visceral. Much of it involves appropriation, using material from American popular culture and flotsam from the information age (pulp fiction, self-help manuals, trade magazines, scientific publications, pornography, bureaucracy, discarded photographs), in work that can be intimate, violent or funny. Bacher often played with her own visibility, making use of personal conversations, relationships and diaristic recordings while working under an assumed name.
Lutz Bacher: AYE!, initiated with the artist by curator Anthony Huberman before her death, includes films and installations that feature the voices of Leonard Cohen, Roberta Flack and James Earl Jones, and the funeral of Princess Diana, as well as a pit of sand, giant sound baffles and a machine that plays the keys of an electric organ. Often in Bacher’s film and sound work, moments are suspended, raising tension to a point between agony and bathos.
Lutz Bacher lived most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although she began making work in the 1970s, she attracted a particular and passionate following through shows in New York during the early 1990s. Later, she made a number of solo institutional exhibitions including at MoMA PS1, New York (2009), the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2013) and Secession, Vienna (2016). Raven Row would like to thank the Estate of Lutz Bacher and Galerie Buchholz for their collaboration in the realisation of this exhibition. Lutz Bacher: AYE! is curated by Anthony Huberman.