L&M Arts is honored to present a solo exhibition by Liza Lou, her first in New York since 2002. Liza
Lou first gained attention when her monumental work Kitchen was shown at the New Museum of
Contemporary Art, New York, in 1996. This sculptural tableau introduced her unique and trademark
medium of objects and environments overlaid with glass beads, while simultaneously establishing
many of the social concerns that underpin her work. The formal beauty of her beaded environments
is often haunted by a mood of injustice or violence, and this mix of seduction and menace gives her
work extraordinary power.
The exhibition will reveal the new levels of technical mastery and thematic complexity that Liza Lou
has developed over the past three years while living and working in South Africa. Tower is a largescale
structure of latticed steel constructed of cage-like sections, every inch of its grid wrapped in
white beads, the tower extending upward thirty feet through the center of the gallery. Continuous
Mile is a mile-long rope woven entirely out of cotton and bone-white beads. With their emphasis on
repetition, formal perfection, and materiality, each of these works partakes in the legacy of minimalist
art. These sculptures thrive on the tension between the apparent impossibility of their construction,
the seductive beauty of their surfaces, and the sinister implications of their subject matter.
Tower is an ethereal cage that seems to rise into infinity, while Continuous Mile has a ritualistic air
suggestive of coercion.
The show will also feature a remarkable new series called Reliefs. These densely layered panels,
each one unique, readily bring to mind the Muslim prayer rugs on which they are partly based, while
being reminiscent of topographical maps of cities, abstract art, and mysterious altars. Plan, Prepare,
Execute, for instance, is a large-scale panel covered in over four hundred and fifty pounds of sootblack
beads of various sizes, each one carefully balanced on their tips to create ridges and valleys
arranged in a precise geometric pattern. The dark magnificence of the work and the pleasure we
might find in the orderly patterns and textures is offset by a mood of palpable threat.
Offensive/Defensive has an even surface of mesmerizing, vibrant color overlaid by an organic black
pattern, as if the object itself were stained by a creeping mold or corrosive liquid. The Reliefs show
an artist deeply engaged with her medium, pushing it in new and astonishing directions to create
work of quiet, confident beauty while simultaneously highlighting the religious and geo-political tensions
that mark our present age.
The show at L&M coincides with the exhibition of Maximum Security, a major new sculpture on view
from September 24th at the Lever House (390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022).
An exhibition catalogue will be available with essays by Linda Nochlin and Robert Pincus-Witten.
For further information, please contact: Leila Saadai: email@example.com.
L&M Arts 45 East 78th Street New York, NY 10075 +1 212 861 0020