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Anne Marie Karlsen Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Ceramic melting glass
20 ft.x 15 ft.* (6.1 x 4.6 m)
Public Library
Lawndale Library
14715 Burin Avenue
Lawndale, CA
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Latitude: -118.353960 - Longitude: 33.898774
Image: Subdivisions

Additional Images

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Subdivisions is a 20-foot high floor to ceiling glass artwork designed by Anne Marie Karlsen and fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany. The artist was inspired by the building and its reference to mid-century modern design, especially related to wall paper and tile patterns. Karlsen also found inspiration from the painter Piet Mondrian and his geometric division of spaces into rhythmic squares and rectangles. The combination of these geometric patterns and grids reminded Karlsen of the maps of Lawndale when it was being subdivided for residential lots.

The artwork is made up of eight repeated geometric patterned panels. The patterns are intricate reconfigurations of historical photographs significant to the City of Lawndale. Karlsen worked closely with the Lawndale Historical Society to research the historic photographs used in the artwork. The artist notes, “From a distance the images become vibrant abstract patterns that reconfigure integral parts of the neighborhood history. Up close the images are readable, like a history book.”

The artwork is the focal point of the library’s glass corridor. During the day the artwork is lit by sunlight and can be read from both outside and inside. At night it is illuminated by interior lights.

About the Artist

Anne Marie Karlsen earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin, and has been teaching art in southern California since 1979 at UCLA, and currently at Santa Monica College. Since 1990 she has been commissioned for numerous public projects throughout the country, including the FBI Headquarters in Chicago; Paseo Colorado Development in Pasadena; North Hollywood Metro Red Line station; and Trailside Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2008, her artwork for Lawndale Library, titled Subdivisions, was among forty works cited as “one of the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2008” by the Americans for the Arts. Her work is also represented in many museums throughout California and the U.S., and internationally in the Kulturverwaltung Stadt in Salzburg, Austria.