Picture 9, 2019

Nate Lowman

Production Year


The present work is from a series of paintings, begun by Lowman in 2018, based on crime scene photos of the mass shooting that took place on October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a gunman attacked civilians attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, resulting in fifty-nine deaths. Following an investigation, which yielded no identifiable motive, the police released photos of the Mandalay Bay hotel room and surrounding area where the gunman carried out his attack. Drawn to the perfunctory quality of the photographs, as much as to their uneasy sense of timelessness and placelessness, Lowman, who was born in Las Vegas, began translating the images, one by one, into paintings, in part as an attempt to grapple with the unanswerable questions posed by the shooting. The resultant works probe the tensions between the everyday and the extreme, presence and absence, and, more broadly, violence and representation. Picture 9 references a crime scene photo depicting a view of the gunman’s hotel room kitchenette. By focusing on this image and rendering its details, such as the hotel’s garish decor and casually placed semiautomatic rifles, Lowman portrays a disquietingly mundane scene that simultaneously reveals and masks its context, raising questions about the communicability of certain images, while insisting on their visibility. Fact sheet, David Zwirner, October 2019