LOS ANGELES — Growing up in Illinois, Lisa Anne Auerbach remembers most the cold winters and looks forward to sweater weather every year.

What You Need To Know

  • Artist Lisa Anne Auerbach started knitting inspired by Cheap Trick lead guitarist Rick Nielsen

  • Group art exhibit, "Nasty Women" opened October 31, 2020 at Gavlak Los Angeles and will be on view until December 12, 2020

  • Over 50 female artists are represented in Nasty Women from the Italian Renaissance to present day

  • Key historical pieces featured in the exhibition are works created by both known and anonymous “Old Mistresses,” or female artists excluded from a male-dominated art historical canon

Now living in Los Angeles, Auerbach is an artist working with language and communication. She started knitting sweaters with messages after realizing they made a perfect canvas.

“I started this sweater at the beginning of the year and by the time it got to March, I was knitting 2020 Revision. Soon after that, knitting a coronavirus and people with masks,” said Auerbach while holding up a sweater-in-progress.

Auerbach picked up knitting shortly after losing access to the darkroom after graduating from Art Center where she studied photography. Inspired by the custom knit sweaters worn by Cheap Trick lead guitarist, Rick Nielsen, she hoped to make one for him to wear.

“I was really interested in how the medium of the sweater changed the meaning of the words just a little bit,” said Auerbach. “You know it made them more important. That knitting has a permanence.” 

Much of Auerbach’s art practice is defined by self-publishing and to her, knitting sweaters became a way of making her work public.

“I made this sweater in 2006, on the occasion of a ballot initiative that was about abortion in California. I was hoping that this sweater would be obsolete by now,” said Auerbach.

To Auerbach, sweaters have a special meaning even beyond the messages. Unlike a T-shirt that gets worn over time, sweaters can typically last many years.

“One thing about knitting that’s really exciting to me is that if you want to remove the language from this sweater, you have to destroy this sweater,” said Auerbach.

Auerbach’s latest work is now on view at a new group exhibit called Nasty Women at Gavlak Los Angeles. Sarah Gavlak is the owner and founder and she primarily focuses on representing women, LGBTQ+ and artists of color.

“Many women were not allowed to exhibit,” explained Gavlak. “Their work was marginalized. They never were able to sell it. There were very few exceptions to that rule.”

Showcasing women artists throughout art history, Auerbach's work stands between artworks dated from the Italian Renaissance through today.

“One of my intentions with this work is being able to have a conversation about topical issues that are less confrontational and a little more cozy like a sweater,” said Auerbach.

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🍄 #𝘕𝘈𝘚𝘛𝘠𝘞𝘖𝘔𝘌𝘕 opens October 31 at GAVLAK Los Angeles!⁣ ⁣ This group exhibition is presented on the eve of the presidential election, and what we hope is the aftermath of a presidency that views the voices presented in this exhibition as disposable yet threatening. The series of works presented in 𝘕𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘺 𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 harnesses this power by moving against political oppression and state violence, and by celebrating self-expression. Intersecting with another key political moment, 𝘕𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘺 𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 is dedicated to the memory of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.⁣ #notoriousrbg⁣ ⁣ To make an appointment to visit GAVLAK Los Angeles, click the link in our bio and visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming events.⁣ ⁣ Lisa Anne Auerbach⁣ 𝘒𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘕𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘺 𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯, 2020⁣ Wool⁣ 12 x 12 in (30.5 x 30.5 cm)⁣ ⁣ Karen Carson⁣ 𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘥, 2011⁣ Acrylic on unstretched canvas⁣ 61.5 x 73 in (156.2 x 185.4 cm)⁣ ___⁣ #lisaanneauerbach #karencarson #karmaisanastywoman #powermad #ruthbaderginsburg #bidenharris #votehimout #blackartmatters #lgbtqplus #vote2020 #nastywoman #nastywomenunite #nastywomenvote #votesforwomen #womeninleadership #dumptrump #19thamendment #womenssuffrage #lgbtqart #lgbtqartist #intersectionalfeminism #femaleartists #feministart #womeninart #womenartists #womenforwomen #equalityforall #wearenastywomen @auerbachtoberfest @missgavlak

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