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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Liza Lou

b. 1969, USA

Liza Lou's artistic practice is based in repetition, formal materiality and social consciousness. She currently divides her time between her studios in Los Angeles and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Throughout her practice Lou has consistently produced intricate and complex beadwork installations and hangings. Using mundane or dark subject matter, Lou speaks to systems of labour, beauty and human endurance.

Lou was first brought to public attention with her installation, Kitchen (1991-96) when it was shown at the New Museum in New York. Over the five years preceding its exhibition, she created the entire installation by herself. Slowly and laboriously over the course of half a decade, Lou presented a suburban kitchen in all its aspects—its many appliances, furniture and objects, as well as the dirty dishes in the sink—covered in small glass beads. In Kitchen Lou constructed a monument to women's work both in subject matter and process. She developed acute tendinitis in her hands from applying each bead with tweezers. The artwork has since been acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art.

After Kitchen, with the support of the Whitney Museum of American Art's acquisition of the work, Lou began creating Backyard (1996-99). Backyard is another fully beaded scene, this time of a suburban lawn. It includes objects such as a picnic table, clothesline, tree and grass (250 000 individually beaded blades). Not much later, Lou began working on Trailer (1998-2000)—a mobile home whose interior is covered with black, white and silver beads. The beaded interior objects include a sofa, typewriter and coffee table with magazines. Since Kitchen, Lou's colour palette and gesture has become increasingly minimalist. She has moved to focusing on the subtle details of difference between the beads themselves as objects and subject matter.

The only deviation from Lou's beaded path appeared in a performance called Born Again, in which she reenacts her troubled childhood within her bohemian-turned-born-again Christian family and at the hands of her abusive father. In 2005 Lou moved to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Soon after, she opened a studio there, where she works with traditional Zulu beadworkers. In KwaZulu-Natal, Lou created Security Fence (2005)—an impenetrable chain-link and razor wire enclosure beaded in silver. She also conceived of and constructed Barricade (2007-8)—a gate beaded in 24-karat gold. Both sculptures reflect Lou's experiences in South Africa; they are structures of containment and protection, but they end up as beautiful and alluring objects that support neither goal. Both works were made with the assistance of the Zulu beadworkers. Lou worked alongside these artists and in the process began to reframe her work in the context of traditional and social practice.

Lou was a 2002 MacArthur Fellow. She received the 2013 Anonymous Was A Woman Award, and has held solo exhibitions at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; and Neuberger Museum of Art, New York. She has participated in exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has also exhibited at the Lyon Biennale, France; and Taipei Biennial, Taiwan, amongst others.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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Unminding Cloud by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouUnminding Cloud, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
181.3 x 214.9 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Sunday Morning by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouSunday Morning, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
180.3 x 320 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Psalm 51 by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouPsalm 51, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
143.2 x 142.2 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Nightsong by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouNightsong, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
71.8 x 71.4 x 3.8 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Desire Lines by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouDesire Lines, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
142.9 x 284.5 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Comfort Animal by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouComfort Animal, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
145.1 x 108.9 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Clear After Rain by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouClear After Rain, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
144.5 x 144.5 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Afternoons by Liza Lou contemporary artwork
Liza LouAfternoons, 2019 Oil paint on woven glass beads and thread on canvas
181.3 x 179.4 x 5.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Liza Lou, The River and the Raft at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Open Now
12 September–9 November 2019 Liza Lou The River and the Raft Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Liza Lou, Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds: Terra at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
6 September–27 October 2018 Liza Lou Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds: Terra Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Liza Lou, Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
6 September–27 October 2018 Liza Lou Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

New York Autumn Exhibitions: The Lowdown Ocula Report New York Autumn Exhibitions: The Lowdown 14 Sep 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

The autumn exhibition season has officially kicked off in New York, with countless solo and group exhibitions featuring emerging, mid-career, and established artists, with some exhibiting works in the US for the first time. With a host of exhibitions to choose from, including a series of stellar museum exhibitions whose runs are nearing completion,...

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In Related Press

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Celebrating Outstanding Glass Artists Who Happen to Be Women Related Press Celebrating Outstanding Glass Artists Who Happen to Be Women Hyperallergic : 8 January 2018

Toledo, Ohio — Whenever I encounter a museum exhibition that frames itself as presenting exclusively female artists, I have to run through the same internal debate about emphasizing artists' gender. I recognize the necessity of making a conscious effort to include or exclusively feature female artists — or any other broad swath of the...

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One artist's surprising, powerful new subject, 1000 dishcloths Related Press One artist's surprising, powerful new subject, 1000 dishcloths The New York TImes : 12 May 2016

In 1996, Liza Lou unveiled The Kitchen — a lifesize suburban kitchen rendered entirely in beads. The piece, which included a box of glittering Frosted Flakes and a cherry pie that gleamed like the crown jewels, took the artist five years to make. Soon followed Backyard, a vast suburban lawn, beaded down to the blades of grass. Since...

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One Artist’s Surprising, Powerful New Subject: 1,000 Dishcloths Related Press One Artist’s Surprising, Powerful New Subject: 1,000 Dishcloths The New York Times : 12 May 2016

In 1996, Liza Lou unveiled The Kitchen — a lifesize suburban kitchen rendered entirely in beads. The piece, which included a box of glittering Frosted Flakes and a cherry pie that gleamed like the crown jewels, took the artist five years to make. Soon followed Backyard, a vast suburban lawn, beaded down to the blades of grass. Since then,...

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Liza Lou’s Handmade Sea of Sparkling Glass Related Press Liza Lou’s Handmade Sea of Sparkling Glass The New York Times : 2 January 2016

For those who wear glasses, the artist Liza Lou suggests taking them off when viewing her newest work, Color Field. The site-specific installation, a monumental, iridescent grid of colors, is part of the exhibition Liza Lou: Color Field and Solid Grey at the Neuberger Museum of Art. Color Field blankets most of the floor of the Theater Gallery,...

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