Galerie Max Hetzler, London presents a solo exhibition of new work by Liz Larner (b. 1960), ahead of her major institutional exhibitions Don’t put it back like it was opening at the Sculpture Center, NY in January 2022 and travelling to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in April, 2022 followed by below above opening at the Kunsthalle Zurich in Summer 2022.
Since the 1980s, Liz Larner has explored and extended the conditions and possibilities of sculpture. Employing materials ranging from the sculptural to the mundane — ceramics, bronze, gauze, rubber, chain, leather and bacterial cultures amongst others — Larner approaches each in an innovative way. Through a deep investigation of their particularities and their potential, Larner catalyses the transformation of matter — its unpredictability, life, and autonomy are key to her practice.
This exhibition marks a new chapter in Larner’s diverse oeuvre, bringing together a large-scale plastic serpentine floor sculpture and plastic wall-based sculptures, shown alongside glazed ceramic asteroids. Emulating seafoam, Meerschaum Drift is an assemblage of painted coloured detritus harvested over several years. Using multiple types of plastic — some in its original form, some cut or heated to the point of malleability — Larner modifies its structure and use value. The work is both formally beautiful, luring the viewer in, and a somber trace of human waste, eternally floating on the surface of the earth. Provoking pathos, the representation of the ocean through plastic is both tragic and true. Meerschaum Drift is also a very intimate record of the quotidian, and a trace of the body, revealing all that is rejected or that has served a finite purpose.
The glazed ceramic asteroids, positioned on the gallery floor, embody the tension between representation and abstraction, reality and imagination. Porous, cracked and dripping, the asteroids serve as a terrestrial glimpse of another world, exiles from outer space deposited in the gallery in living organic form.
Uniting the celestial and the maritime in an impossible landscape, Larner brings together the residue of our solar system — plastic popularised in the 1960s and escaped planetary matter billions of years old. The exhibition brings to the fore many themes that traverse Larner’s oeuvre: the interaction between object, body and space; the sensorial in the static, the life within the inanimate, the agency of matter, and the productive tensions that emerge from them.
Liz Larner (*1960 in Sacramento, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. Larner’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at international institutions, including the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2016); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (both 2015); Public Art Fund, New York (2006) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002), among others.
Works by Larner are held in the collections of prominent international museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; MAK, Vienna; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
Liz Larner’s work will be the subject of solo exhibitions at the Sculpture Center, New York in January 2022 (travelling to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in April 2022) and the Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich in Summer 2022.
Liz Larner, Galerie Max Hetzler, London, 2021. Photo: Jack Hems photography © Liz Larner. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris | London