Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce an exhibition with recent sculptures by Los Angeles based artist Liz Larner at our Paris space, 57 rue du Temple. This is her second solo show with the gallery.
Since the 1980's, Liz Larner explores and extends the conditions and possibilities of sculpture. Her works are informed by the relationship between object, viewer and their surroundings as well as a deep interest in manifold materials and their particular qualities. Here, the artist puts a focus on the changes and symptoms of decay that certain materials undergo in the course of time.
The exhibition presents a group of recent ceramic works. In the late 1990's, Larner discovered the material of ceramic for her artistic practice. Fascinated by the autonomy of this ancient medium, the artist experiments with various compositions and forms. Especially the process of firing and glazing harbours a moment of unpredictability and chance that is significant for the final object and which adds an uncontrollable component to the work with ceramics. Larner creates heavy forms, which, coated with coloured epoxy, describe intensive, shimmering colour gradients that emphasise the underlying shape.
The surface of the objects is often crossed by cracks and ruptures. Flaws that Larner initially tried to restore but which she accepted over time as inherent instability of the material. Her works titled caesura integrate these fissures. Caesura is a literary term that describes a gap or a pause within a poem. For caesura, Larner lays the unfired ceramic slabs over a form. Almost breaking, the works build a deep chasm and create a unity that contains a gap or pause in itself.
Another title, subduction, refers to the process of plate tectonics in which two earth plates move upon the other and cause a rupture. Larner's subductions similarly push on top of each other and become two shifted planes that allow various depths and shades. In calefaction, Larner incorporated stones and minerals to her works. Due to the heat of the firing a variety of new cracks, fissures and irregularities appear and create a relief-like surface.
With the glazed ceramic floor sculptures cave and boney ridge, Larner introduces a new body of work which accentuates the proportions and perspectives of space and correlates with her wall pieces.
Approaching ceramics from a background of conceptual analysis, Larner has always made the case for a deep study of the material and its special characteristics. She may now have arrived at the point at which – beyond the contradictions that always held a special significance in her work – she has achieved a naturalness that allows her a virtuosic play of form, material, and color. With what other material could this have been possible ?
Peter Pakesch in Liz Larner, Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2016
Liz Larner was born 1960 in Sacramento, she lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in important international institutions, such as Aspen Art Museum (2016); Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (both 2015); Belvedere, Vienna (2014); Public Art Fund, New York (2006) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002). Larner's works form part of renowned collections, such as Deste Foundation, Athens; MAK, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York among others.