May 12, 2019

Liz Larner @ Regen Projects, Los Angeles - As Below, So Above

Liz Larner: As Below, So Above
Regen Projects, Los Angeles
May 17 – June 22, 2019


Liz Larner
LIZ LARNER
Firestone, 2019. 
Ceramic and glaze
21 1/2 x 38 x 32 inches (54.6 x 96.5 x 81.3 cm)
(c) Liz Larner, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles


Regen Projects presents As Below, So Above, the seventh solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Larner. On view will be a selection of new works that demonstrate her ongoing examination into sculpture, painting, drawing, and ceramics. The environment – the personal and the entrenched – are set together in these artworks that reach for an understanding of vulnerability through what is and has been considered low and directed, made capital of, and endangered.

Illusion and reality are intricately intertwined in Liz Larner’s work. At first glance Firestone appears as a large enigmatic composition of stone placed in the center of the gallery. Upon closer inspection the corporeal structure of the three dimensional form reveals its construction through numerous ceramic pieces in the shape of tessellated hematite crystals. Referencing the art historical trope of the Odalisque, this is an eco-feminist interpretation of the supine figure and the hexagonal crystal always found with iron.  

Liz Larner’s interest in fragility and nature in the anthropocene is further manifest in Reef, an open ended, cay-shaped large format sculpture that snakes along the gallery floor. Free formed around and with deposits of stone and mineral, the work appears to float just above or slightly below the surface of the imaginary water that surrounds it. The illusory perception of its totality engages the viewer to circumambulate its contours and navigate the constantly shifting movements of light and color imbued on its craggy surfaces. Completing the axiological triad of low lying sculptures in this exhibition are a group of multi-scaled anthropomorphic floor works, Animal Vegetable, spreading out and over like a herd. 

Hovering on opposing walls, two seemingly identical ceramic works both titled Horizon, feature bold swathes of blue glaze separating telluric registers from their empyrean skycapes. A wall mounted ceramic slab sculpture provides a recent example of an ongoing series that considers the poetic qualities of geological formations. The palette of its richly polychromatic surface is achieved through the application of epoxy mixed with pigment and arrived at in reference to a Pierre Bonnard self-portrait from 1889. Environmental factors implicit in the construction of the piece determine its final material state, and are physically rendered in the work, resulting in fissures, ruptures, and breaks along its textured expanse. 

Further references to cultural history appear in a graphite drawing on paper of two women reclining on opposing armchairs, depicting a domestic interior scene from Marguerite Duras’s film Nathalie Granger (1972). While another ceramic wall work Volitant Solids’ color and form reference a graphic from Michelangelo Antonioni’s first color film Red Desert (1964), set during the rapid industrialization of post war Italy.

LIZ LARNER (b. 1960) received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1985. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Liz Larner’s work will be the subject of a solo museum exhibition at SculptureCenter in the fall of 2020, which will travel to The Contemporary Austin and the Walker Art Center. A European solo presentation of her work will be held at the Kunsthalle Zurich in the summer of 2020. She will also be featured in The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (May 19, 2019 – January 13, 2020). Selected solo museum exhibitions include Aspen Art Museum (2016); Art Institute of Chicago (2015); Two or Three or Something: Maria Lassnig, Liz Larner, Kunsthaus Graz, (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001-02); MAK, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (1998); and Kunsthalle Basel (1997). Group exhibitions include Damage Control, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2013-14); Blues for Smoke, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012-13); Under Destruction, Museum Tinguely, Basel (2010-11); and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, Seville (2006-07). She was featured in two Whitney Biennials (2006, 1989). 

She has been the recipient of numerous awards including Mutina’s This Is Not a Prize (2018); the Nancy Graves Foundation Grant (2014); Smithsonian American Art Museum Lucelia Artist Award (2002); Anonymous Was a Woman (2000); and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1999). 

Work by the artist is held in prominent international collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas, Austin; Dallas Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Collecion Jumex, Mexico City; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna; Milwaukee Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

REGEN PROJECTS
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038