Liz Larner ‘Selected Sculpture from the Early 1990s’

Installation view, 'Liz Larner: Selected Sculpture from the Early 1990s', Regen Projects, Los Angeles, 2008
Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of selected sculpture and drawings from the early 1990s by Liz Larner. This exhibition will present 4 sculptures: Between Loves Me and Not (1992), Come Together (1989), Corridor (Orange/Blue) (1991), and Reflector Wizards (1992) along with related drawings from the period. Liz Larner’s seminal work has been highly influential to a younger generation of artists. It is illuminating to draw attention to this significant and ambitious body of work not only in terms of the parallels that can be made to sculpture being done today, but also how these works illustrate Larner’s questioning of many widely held assumptions about the attributes of sculpture including the relationship between volume and mass, the place of the spectator, the role of experience and perception, the question of geometric form, the use of color as a structural element, the use of line and color in space, and the relationship between artwork and the architectural confines of a space.

The use of materials and how they can redefine our perceptions of the boundaries of space is of paramount importance to Liz Larner’s work. Between Loves Me and Not and Reflector Wizards are both composed of pieces of mirrored glass. Mirrors produce a fragmented experience both physically and psychologically; they create a mixed spatial experience of simultaneous absence and presence, directness and distance, surface and depth. In addition to fragmentation, the use of mirrors is a means of looking outward toward expansion to create infinite areas of spatiality. Both Come Together and Corridor (Orange/Blue) use a combination of industrial materials along with various fabrics to create a dialogue between soft and hard, handmade and hi-tech. Come Together is composed of ribbon, rope, human hair, measuring tapes, TV antennae, wire, and lace, and Corridor (Orange/Blue) is composed of metal, car paint, fabric, stainless steel, and wood. Larner is drawn to materials that conspire with the viewer’s sense of fullness and void, transparency and opacity, expanding and fragmenting.

Central to Liz Larner’s artistic practice is organizing apparent opposites in both mental and physical space — edge/form, color/mirror, rough/delicate. There is always a discourse between signs and their context, between materials and their textual allusions. Larner’s work evokes an exquisite tension through the use of unconventional materials, the manipulation of space, the presence of unexpected color, and the destabilization of volume. The transformation of seeming opposites into something else — the contrast of the bright complimentary colors of orange and blue, the rigid rectangular forms suspended in space versus the growth of organic shapes that rise from the floor, the tension between metal and fabric — all work to transform space into a reality that hovers on the verge of rejecting the idea of form as coherent and self contained.

“”¦There is a mutating formal language operative in Larner’s overall oeuvre, one that mobilizes poetic language and mathematics in space to interrogate and re-make it, at the same time as it makes the viewers consider themselves in relation to it. The work of art is as surely the focus as it was in the sculptural tradition before postmodernism, but the work is no longer a separate or fixed object”¦Larner’s sculptural elements”¦mutually qualify and converse with each other — they set up a ‘polyogue’ rather than a dialogue, and the viewer participates.”
(Penny Florence. “Outer Space, Embodies Sense. Two Meditations and Then Some (Futures)” in Two or Three or Something Maria Lassnig, Liz Larner, published by Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, 2006, pp. 77-78)