Liza Lou

Liza Lou: Color Field
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)
July 12 – November 3, 2013

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will debut the newest beaded sculpture by MacArthur prize-winning artist Liza Lou on July 12 at its downtown location, 1100 Kettner Blvd. The exhibition, titled Liza Lou: Color Field, will remain on view in the Strauss Gallery through November 3, 2013.

Contemporary artist Liza Lou expands traditional definitions of painting, sculpture, and craft in her mesmerizing installations made entirely of glass beads. Lou is best known for her large-scale sculptural installations, such as Kitchen (1991-95)–a life-size beaded kitchen which the artist completed in her downtown San Diego studio–and Back Yard (1995-98), a 500-square-foot beaded suburban garden.

At MCASD, Lou will premiere Color Field, her latest large-scale sculpture. Measuring 20 feet by 20 feet, its title pays homage to the original “color field” painters such as Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell. Lou’s Color Field is a floor-bound experiential sculpture that will fill the main atrium with a shimmering field of color that references the grasslands of South Africa where she now works – with a grid of thousands of thin steel rods, each threaded with glass beads to form a kaleidoscopic moiré effect. Edges between the colors become blurred, blending to create new colors, and as the viewer moves around the field, the tones and hues ooze and wobble in a constant flux of radiant color.

Lou started work on Color Field in Durban, South Africa, where she has lived and worked since 2005. In her own words she was searching to “find another way of working, one which can make a substantial difference to other people’s lives.” Working with thirty Zulu artisans in a non-profit centre in downtown Durban, Lou continues her efforts to develop an economically sustainable project, while creating truly magnificent and original works of art.

Color Field will be completed at MCASD, where teams of volunteers will aid in the work’s installation over a two-week period. Please see below for additional details. Media who are interested in attending and photographing this process may contact Communications Associate Leah Masterson to make arrangements.

Lou has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries around the world, including, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica; and Smithsonian Institution of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Liza Lou: Color Fieldis organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Underwriting support for this exhibition has been generously provided by Iris and Matthew Strauss. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.