Gagosian has announced the global representation of Lauren Halsey. Her debut exhibition with the gallery will be held in 2024 in Europe, with her first institutional exhibition in the United Kingdom to open at the Serpentine Galleries, London, in October 2024.
Based in South Central Los Angeles, where her family has lived for generations, Halsey creates immersive installations that bridge sculpture and architecture, and collages that blend fantastic geographies with real ones. Her practice draws on local vernacular sources such as flyers, murals, signs, and tags—icons of pride, autonomy, initiative, and resilience that she recontextualizes and reinterprets. Both celebratory and archival, Halsey’s work offers a form of creative resistance to the forces of gentrification.
Halsey uses gypsum and glass fiber–reinforced concrete to produce environmental works, harnessing the materials’ ubiquity and adaptability. These projects are complemented by the graphic maximalism of her collages. In addition to the signs and symbols of contemporary South Central, Halsey employs the iconography of ancient Egypt as an Afrocentric means of reclaiming lost legacies and is inspired by the Afrofuturist aesthetics developed by funk pioneer George Clinton and his Parliament-Funkadelic ensemble and avant-garde jazz composer Sun Ra.
She is also influenced by the visions of utopian architecture proposed in the 1960s by Archigram and Superstudio.In 2023, Halsey built a site-specific installation commissioned for the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Titled the eastside of south central los angeles hieroglyph prototype architecture (I), the edifice is inspired by the Temple of Dendur and other artifacts from the museum’s collections. Designed to be entered and walked around, the monumental work is visible from Central Park. Incised on its walls are heads of some of the artist’s contemporaries, with words and images that reference her neighborhood. Sculptural sphinxes and Hathor columns are guardian figures adorned with the faces of important members of the community and Halsey’s family, including her mother, Glenda, and her partner, Monique. An emblem of personal and communal expression, the monument draws from the distant past, addresses the vitality of the present, and proposes a vision of the future.
Sited in South Central Los Angeles, Summaeverythang Community Center is an organization founded by Halsey in 2019 to advance Black and Brown empowerment on personal, political, economic, and sociocultural levels. Summaeverythang distributes free organic produce to the neighborhood, helping with the food insecurity crisis that was exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and which remains a critical issue.
Gagosian represents Halsey worldwide, with David Kordansky Gallery representing her in Los Angeles.
About the artist
Lauren Halsey was born in 1987 in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Collections include Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Exhibitions include we still here, there, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018); Too Blessed 2 be Stressed!, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2019); The Banner Project, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2021–22); and Seattle Art Museum (2022). Halsey participated in Made in L.A. 2018, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, where she was awarded the Mohn Award for artistic excellence. In 2021, Halsey received the Gwendolyn Knight | Jacob Lawrence Prize from the Seattle Art Museum. In 2023, she installed the eastside of south central los angeles hieroglyph prototype architecture (I), a Roof Garden commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Serpentine Galleries, London, will present an exhibition of Halsey’s work from October 2024 through January 2025.