Friday, March 4, 2011

Born Again: Beading the World Anew with Liza Lou

“You fall backward and you’re moved by the spirit of God and you get up and go forth and you’re a different person,” artist Liza Lou says in an interview of her “born again” Christian upbringing. “Later, as an artist, I realized I was redeeming objects with my material. There was the process of applying beads with tweezers, a very careful and attentive act—and then over time, the transformation; a kind of hallucinogenic quality, like the object was ‘saved’ or spirit-filled.” In Liza Lou, the first monograph examining the artist’s career, we see how Lou takes the craft of beading to a mind-boggling and soul-expanding extreme in works such as Man (from 2002; shown above), in which a man falls backward in epiphanal ecstasy with a dove, the classic symbol of the Holy Spirit, emerging from his mouth—all done as a fiberglass sculpture festooned with glittering glass beads. Through over 200 color photographs showing in fine detail the meticulous magic of Lou’s beads and a series of thought-provoking essays, Liza Lou will have you seeing and believing that this sometimes ugly world can be born again in beauty. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Born Again."

[Image: Liza Lou. Man, 2002. Glass beads on fiberglass. 68 x 71 x 16 inches (172.7 x 180.3 x 40.6 cm).]

[Many thanks to Rizzoli for providing me with the image above and a review copy of Liza Lou, with text by
Eleanor Heartney, Lawrence Weschler, Arthur Lubow, and Peter Schjeldahl.]