mesmerizing beaded environments by liza lou
‘kitchen’, 1991 – 1996
image courtesy of liza lou

 

 

 

visual artist liza lou uses millions of tiny glass beads as her art medium, completely canvassing entire surfaces and objects in a labyrinth of sparking specks. she expands on conventional interpretation of sculpture and  installation by saturating her mock environments in intricately hand-crafted detail. born in new york, lou founded a studio collective in 2005 in south africa, where the traditional craft of beadwork still thrives. although she does not explicitly use african beading practices in her art, she works with zulu artisans there who have worked with bead art for generations.

 

lou’s first major work was ‘kitchen and backyard’ which defined her sensibility and style. over a period of five years, lou created a full-scale replica of a suburban kitchen with every element completely covered in millions of hand-glued glass beads — a package of potato chips, dirty dishes in the sink, and the cabinetry facade. the complexity of the result is a glittering, mesmerizing maze of tiny glass beads, each of which she applies individually using a set of tweezers.

 

liza lou is exhibiting her latest piece, ‘color field’, through november 3rd, 2013 at the museum of contemporary art san diego. the installation comprises a floor-bound sculpture whose grid and chroma references the grasslands of south africa where she currently works.

 

 


‘kitchen’, 1991 – 1996
image courtesy of liza lou

 

 


‘kitchen’, 1991 – 1996
 image courtesy of liza lou

 

 


‘kitchen’, 1991 – 1996
image courtesy of liza lou

 

 

 


windex, 1995
photo © toni marie gonzalez, courtesy toledo museum of art, ohio

 

 


‘back yard’, 1996 – 1999
image courtesy of liza lou

 


‘back yard’, 1996 – 1999
image courtesy of liza lou

 

 


‘dog’, 2002
image courtesy of liza lou

 

 


‘color field’
courtesy the artist © liza lou 2010-2013
photo credit: dean eliot

 

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