Laura Tanner

Barbeque Nation
60″x40″; ink on hand cut Mylar; 2020

Laura Tanner
Tucson, Arizona, USA


My drawings examine the consequences of American colonialism and addresses the sense of white, patriarchal fragility that continues to pervade Western culture. Using India ink on double-frosted Mylar, I create intricate drawings that reference period-specific wallpaper patterns, printed textiles and décor. I collage invented and appropriated imagery from textiles, wallpaper patterns and Americana advertisements to create an object that is as much tapestry as it is drawing. Hand-cut lace patterns and images layer and fold over specific vignettes, concealing the drawing underneath in order to reveal alternative narratives. By borrowing directly from the decorative arts, the meticulously hand-cut Mylar and equally intricate drawing capitalizes on America’s propensity for sentimentality. The dense visual language invites investigation into the textured surfaces and leads the viewer to reflect on the social textures of contemporary culture while questioning their own complicity in current social constructs.


Tanner’s work references historical socio-political events to probe the contradictions between perceived and experienced narratives in contemporary Western society. Implementing appropriated and invented imagery, her work exposes the unceasing current of systemic colonialism. Tanner has exhibited nationally in both group and solo exhibitions including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans. She has been invited to participate in several national art fairs including Art on Paper during Armory week in New York City. She has also been a visiting artist at several universities including Tulane University and the University of Alabama. Her work has been supported by fellowships awarded through the Ucross Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center and Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona where she is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at the University of Arizona.


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Natural Lure
40″x60″; ink on hand cut Mylar; 2019
Donut Dollies
60″x40″; ink on hand cut Mylar; 2018
40″x108″; ink on hand cut Mylar; 2019