Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce Liza Lou: The Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds as the inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new, additional location at West 24th Street and Tenth Avenue. Lou will present a series of recent bodies of work produced over the last three years, including her monumental The Clouds (2015-18), recently exhibited at the 21st Biennale of Sydney. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, September 6, from 6 to 8 PM, at 501 West 24th Street.
Lou’s artwork is a thoughtful meditation on community and labor, as well as process and repetition. She investigates the sociopolitical constructs of gender and class by challenging conventional definitions of art and craft, and of “women’s work.” For more than 20 years, Lou has made sculptures and installations using glass beads as her primary medium. In that time, she has moved from working alone on her often large-scale work to creating a communal studio practice and developing collaborative working methods with women artisans in South Africa and Brazil.
For her second exhibition with Lehmann Maupin, and her first in New York since 2008, Lou breaks with the highly controlled surfaces of past work, using beads of different sizes to make sculptures that resemble coral in their accretive masses. The glass beads become like single cells growing, through various methods of layering or stacking, into almost-living forms. The vividly hued compositions ooze like lava, built up in relief compositions that protrude from the wall. All of these works will be installed throughout two floors of the 8,500-square-foot gallery, alongside meditative drawings by the artist that mimic the form and function of the bead and thus shed further light on Lou’s practice and approach.
Anchoring the exhibition will be a site-specific installation of The Clouds, a 100-foot-long woven painting modeled after Monet’s triptych Les Nuages (1922). The Clouds is composed of a grid of 600 beaded white panels on which the artist has made individual plein air oil paintings of Southern California clouds. When each panel was complete, the artist smashed areas of the woven beads with a hammer, partially destroying the image but revealing the ghost-like traces of the underlying thread. The painted surface is violated to expose a deeper kind of beauty—a fragile memory of clouds, transparent and fleeting and imparting a sense of loss and tenderness to the work.
A catalogue with an essay by curator Jenelle Porter and designed by Purtill Family Business will accompany the exhibition.
About the artist
Liza Lou (b. 1969, New York; lives and works in Los Angeles) has had solo exhibitions of her work organized at Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY (2015); Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2013); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2011); Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany (2011); Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2001); and Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (2000). Select group exhibitions featuring her work include SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement, 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); Screen: Virtual Material, DeCordova Sculpture and Park Museum, Lincoln, MA; (2018); All things being equal…, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); Beyond Boundaries: Feminine Forms, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Women’s Work, National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Home Land Security, FOR-SITE Foundation, San Francisco (2016); Sleight of Hand: Painting and Illusion, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA (2014); The Artist’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); and Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, curated by Jeff Koons, New Museum, New York (2010). Her work is in numerous international public and private collections, including the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; de Young Museum, San Francisco; François Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Lou is the recipient of the 2013 Anonymous Was a Woman Award and a 2002 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Lehmann Maupin at 501 West 24th Street
The new location of Lehmann Maupin in Chelsea, with a primary entrance on West 24th Street, encompasses 8,500 square feet spread across three floors and is located on the corner of West 24th Street and Tenth Avenue in the former home of the Getty Gas Station. It is adjacent to the landmark High Line park, a destination for innovative landscape design and site-specific art installations. The interior is designed by architect Peter Marino with column-free ground floor exhibition spaces, an abundance of natural light coming through overhead skylights, and ceiling heights up to 23 feet. The additional floors of the gallery feature exhibition spaces, private viewing rooms, and offices. The Hill Art Foundation will occupy the two floors directly above Lehmann Maupin.