Andrea Bowers

  • Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art
    Fourth Floor
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Featured images

Andrea Bowers Church Banners (Adalberto United Methodist Church, Chicago, Member of New Sanctuary Movement), 2007/2008 Color pencil on paper Diptych; Each 50 × 74 in. (127 × 187.96 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles, Photo: Robert Wedemeyer
Andrea Bowers I Am Nature: Champion International Clearcut; West Flank of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, 2013 Archival marker on found cardboard 118 1/8 × 157 ½ x 1 1/5 in. (300 × 400 × 3 cm)
Courtesy of the artist, Courtesy Andrew Kreps, New York and Capitain Petzel, Berlin
Andrea Bowers ”Can You Think of Any Laws that Give Government the Power to Make Decisions About the Male Body? Quote by Kamala Harris During Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing in 2018, (Frontispiece by Unknown Illustrator from Les Femmes Illustres, Ou, Les Harangues Heroïques, by Madeleine de Scudéry, Published by Chez Antoine de Sommaville & Augustin Courbé, Paris, 1644),” 2020
108 × 78 × 5 in. (274.32 × 198.12 × 12.7 cm) Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Photo: Jeff McLane

About the Exhibition

For over thirty years, multidisciplinary visual artist Andrea Bowers (American, b. 1965) has made art that activates. Bowers works in a variety of mediums, from video to colored pencil to installation art, and speaks directly to pressing national issues. Her work combines an artistic practice with activism and advocacy, giving voice to stories rarely seen or heard.

Born in Wilmington, Ohio, Bowers received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1992 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She built an international reputation as a chronicler of contemporary history, documenting activism as it unfolds and collecting research on the frontlines of protest. Her subject matter contends with issues like immigration, workers’ rights, environmentalism, and women’s rights, presented in a range of media. Her empathetic and labor-intensive practice draws attention to the humanity impacted by injustice—shifting the conversation from politics to people.

This is the first museum retrospective surveying over two decades of Bowers’s practice. Highlights of the exhibition include Courtroom Drawings (Steubenville Rape Case, Text Messages Entered As Evidence, 2013), (2014) and My Name Means Future, (2020). These two works speak to the range of issues in Bowers’s work, the former emerged from her work as an embedded observer in a landmark sexual assault case; the latter from her involvement in activism around the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Andrea Bowers is co-organized by Michael Darling, MCA James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Connie Butler, The Hammer Museum Chief Curator. It is presented in the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art on the museum's fourth floor.


Lead support is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris; the Zell Family Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; R. H. Defares; Gael Neeson, Edlis Neeson Foundation; Cari and Michael Sacks; Karyn and Bill Silverstein; and Anonymous.

Major support is provided by Julie and Larry Bernstein, Charlotte Feng Ford, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, and by Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation.

Generous support is provided by Andrew Kreps Gallery, Diana Billes, Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Glenstone Foundation, Susan D. Goodman and Rodney Lubeznik, Ashlee Jacob, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Diane Kahan, Anne L. Kaplan, kaufmann repetto, Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund, Rennie Collection, Mary Kay Touhy, and Vielmetter Los Angeles.

This exhibition is supported by the Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.