Laura Splan's work interrogates the material manifestations of our cultural ambivalence towards the human body. Her conceptually based projects employ a range of traditional and digital techniques. She often uses found objects and appropriated sources to explore socially constructed perceptions of order and disorder. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes including blood, cosmetic facial peel and digital fabrication.
Rodney, Seph, "From Beaded Portraiture to Brainwave Drawings, Favorites from Greenpoint Open Studios", Jun 5, 2017
"...the idea underlying the work is certainly compelling. For the piece, Splan etched her own brain wave patterns by laser into watercolor paper so that they create a kind of radiating pattern, like a miniaturized crop circle..."
The Houston Chronicle
Glentzer, Molly, "Sculpture made with the blink of an eye: Laura Splan's "Manifest" pieces at Capsule Gallery are 3D reflections of her muscle movement", Jan 30, 2017
"...Splan, who lives in Brooklyn, started her "Manifest" series of sculptures the same way she began the drawings and textiles in her show -- by recording the fluctuating electricity in her muscles with a type of biosensor called an electromyogram..."
Craig, Jon, “Remedy For Winter Blahs: Catch ArtsWestchester Exhibit In White Plains”, Jan 2, 2017
“...Laura Splan’s 'Prozac, Thorazine, Zoloft' blend humor and craft with the tools of modern medicine to provoke questions about what can provide comfort in times of physical or mental distress. Splan’s soft sculptures, made through the tedious and time-consuming process of latch hooking, transform these commonly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants into cozy, domestic objects…”
Lambert, Audra, “Revolutionary! Satellite Art Show 2016’s Stellar Second Act”, Dec 6, 2016
“...In Splan’s works, coded data captured from bodily actions (like laughing) is transformed into hypnotic rhythmic patterns and re-coded as sensory input. Aesthetically pleasurable and quantifiable, Splan deftly weaves scientific findings into visually stimulating artworks…”
Surface Design Journal
Lopeman, Elizabeth, "Laura Splan: Manifest", Summer 2016 Issue
“...The exigent urgency of Laura Splan’s conceptual work always feels one step ahead of us, much the way technology, which she employs to execute and symbolically illuminate her concepts, exists long before it is grasped by the masses…”
Santa Fe New Mexican
Weideman, Paul, “All the pretty software: CODE and NOISE”, June 10, 2016
"...The Splan piece in CODE and NOISE looks like a fabric. 'She collected data from doing performances. She hooked up to an electromyogram and recorded her neuromuscular activities while she moved, and the output can be sculptures or even tapestry'..."
Evans, Emily, “The Growth of Microbial Art”, May 16, 2016
"...other artists have taken a similar approach to microbial art by removing the colour so often artificially added to microbial images, leaving the viewer to focus on the forms and design of the microbes..."
Lenscratch Fine Art Photography Daily
Alterwitz, Linda, "Art + Science: Laura Splan", Feb 8, 2016
"Taking a captivating approach, Splan puts the viewer on edge by questioning current media ideologies related to medical science."
Art & Translation
Guerber, Megan, “The Body Speaks Louder Than Words: Exploring the Impact of Laura Splan’s Host”, Dec 22, 2015
"Contemporary science-based artist Laura Splan...plays with subtlety and domesticity in order to make the body and its biology more approachable...Similar to Eva Hesse in her gentle approach, though more like (Louise) Bourgeois and (Kiki) Smith with her graphic references, Splan works to ease her audience members into a challenging discomfort..."
The New York Times
Lipson, Karin, "Islip Exhibition Explores How Science Influences Art", Oct 22, 2015
"...Elaine Whittaker and Laura Splan tackle subjects like biological contagion and the trauma of illness using such diverse means as hospital and lab supplies, digital prints and, in Ms. Splan’s case, the 3-D printing of decorative objects (some stained with blood)..."
Issues in Science and Technology
Quinn, Alana, "Objects of Wonder", Vol 32 #1, Fall 2015
"...Objects of Wonder, curated by David Familian and guest-curator Madeline Schwartzman, brings together a wide range of international artists whose work investigates the mystery and wonder of the everyday world around us..."
Huerta, Cassandra, "Pelham Art Center Hosts Discussion On Exhibit TechNoBody", Mar 2015
"...Cynthia Lin and Laura Splan present the human-scaled, handmade, and the physical body through poetic mediation, reminding us of the inescapable material body...Splan covers her body in cosmetic facial peel, which picks up and retains the detailed impression of texture and hairs on skin, and, shedding it like snake skin, embroiders it into deceptively delicate..."
anti-utopias: Digital Art Series
Bors, Sabin, "Virtually Real. Conversations On TechNoBody" - Part I & II, Feb/Mar 2015
"...An ‘organic cyborg nature’ of the human is also unveiled in Laura Splan’s work... transparent textures of biotechnological webs and biomaterial generativity that can be threaded in recombinant organic materialities... Splan’s mixture of scientific and domestic in molecular garments... guides the viewer through an array of captivating approaches that challenge not only current media ideologies but also conceptual paradigms underlying today’s digital art, the question of disembodiment..."
PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
Rebecca Horne, "Science and Culture: Dangerous doilies", Aug 12, 2014
"...Artist Laura Splan’s oeuvre has beauty and death, illness and medicine, science and fashion paired in artworks that provoke and challenge our notions and traditions... methodical experimentation is integral to her artistic process..."
Ajai Raj, "What Lies Beneath", Jun 23, 2014
"...'Modular Systems'... pokes fun at the misuse of science for marketing purposes... Splan collected and rearranged images of scientific instrumentation found in consumer health magazines to expose the absurd patina of pseudoscience..."
The New York Times
Schwendener, Martha, "From Private Repository to Public Forum", Feb 7, 2014
"...The divide between public and private has lessened considerably... 'Dear Diary: Update on All'... offers a global look at how the diary form evolved... from 'a private repository' to a public forum in which 'the personal becomes a platform for social interaction, reflection and activism'..."
Disability Studies Quarterly
Jessica A. Cooley & Dr. Ann M. Fox, "Disability Art, Aesthetics, and Access", Vol 34, #1, 2014
"...Totems of the beauty myth, the domestic, and genetic identity merge here strikingly, as Splan suggests the extent to which we attempt, through social convention and scientific knowledge, to embroider identity into place as a fixed and defined thing..."
"New show looks at how the diary became public", Jan 21, 2014
"...Dear Diary: Update All, draws together the works of 20 international artists, with 30 works that explore how these exhibitors "express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction..."
SciArt in America
Julia Buntaine & Ashley P. Taylor, "On The Fringe: SciArt In New York", Dec 2013
“…Splan... has approached science in a variety of ways including using blood as a drawing material, altering medical devices to absurd proportions, using antique medical atomizers to apply paint, and weaving doilies based on the symmetry found in viruses…”
Art in America
Miller, Leigh Anne, "Salvaging Digital Art at the New Museum", Aug 12, 2013
"...The seed of the New Museum's digital archiving exhibition "XFR STN" (read as "transfer station") was planted two years ago.... The born-digital station was occupied by Laura Splan, a Brooklyn-based artist who brought a shoebox full of disks holding photos, videos and research material..."
Groeger, Lena, "Blood and lace: Laura Splan's artwork will make you look – twice", Jan 25, 2011
"...Splan is on the forefront of a group of artists exploring the territory between science and art, said McFadden. He thinks the two disciplines, while artificially separated, intrinsically share the same process of creativity..."
Lopeman, Elizabeth, "Domestic Subversion", Dec 2009 / Jan 2010
"...Laura Splan disturbs our notions of beauty and femininity by crafting traditionally feminine objects out of unpredictable materials..."
"Gefahr, in Zierde gebannt", November 2009
"...Die New Yorker Künstlerin Laura Splan findet die Inspiration für ihre Spitzendeckchen ausgerechnet in der Struktur von Viren. Das genetische Material der Erreger ist in der mitte dargestellt, die viralen Oberflächproteine erscheinen als Ausstülpungen an der Borte..."
Los Angeles Times
Mestel, Rosie, “Medical Craft Madness”, April 2008
"...we're especially partial to the delicate, knitted lace doilies of Laura Splan--each one in the shape of a virus. HIV, hepadna virus, SARS virus, flu virus, herpes virus--take your pick. (We like herpes virus best.)..."
Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art
Sood, Sheena, "Extreme Embroidery @ the Museum of Arts and Design", Feb 2008
"...Laura Splan's intricate, perfectly symmetrical, and outwardly decorative doilies, made of machine-embroidered rayon lace, actually depict viruses. Who knew herpes, HIV, and the flu were so incredibly beautiful?..."
Camhi, Leslie, "Let's Get Stitched: A radical take on an old art.", Nov 20, 2007
"...they dig deep within the body, like Laura Splan, to uncover a range of emotions. (Splan's doilies… are uncannily mesmerizing and off-putting.) She and others included here reveal the unexpected versatility of a pastime long associated..."
Ornes, Stephen, "Art: Of Doilies and Disease", February 2007
"Splan... swathes scientific observation in elegance... Splan's creations demand a double take—a second look that reveals the scholarly rigor behind the pretty surface... embroidery is begotten by blood-borne disease..."
Brownlee, John, "Laura Splan: Neuroanatomy in Blood", November 2006
"...some work artists have done with their own blood is really too brilliant to dismiss...For example, Laura Splan, who paints detailed neuroanatomy with her own blood..."