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Mary Lum Assembly (Lorem Ipsum)


  • Building 6, Current Exhibitions, Exhibition

  • On view now

Artist Mary Lum, who lives in North Adams, works in a range of media, including wall drawing, painting, collage, photography, and artist books. Language plays an important role in her practice, with the artist drawing on texts from a diversity of sources, including literature, psychoanalysis, and the news. Lum has been included in three previous exhibitions at MASS MoCA in the past fifteen years; for the opening of B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building she was commissioned to create a large-scale wall work for the bike tunnel that transverses the ground floor, piercing one of MASS MoCA’s biggest buildings to connect Adams-North Adams-Williamstown bike trails. Lum’s monumental painting, covering four walls, is inspired by Lorem ipsum, the meaningless text that graphic designers and typesetters use as mock filler content as placeholders for actual texts, and which was originally drawn from Cicero’s writings on ethics. The intricate work vibrates between writing, image, and pattern, and speaks to the fragmented way in which we acquire information and see language in today’s world. Mirrored interludes provide a vibrant backdrop to passing cyclists.

Barr Foundation logo

Assembly (Lorem Ipsum), 2017
Exterior house paint, mirror, site-specific dimensions
Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Jason Reinhold