Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents LIZ COLLINS: Staring Into the Sun, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Acrylic fabric and yarn, gesso, flashe, nails and wood
68 x 48 x 4.5 in (172.7 x 121.9 x 11.4 cm)
© Liz Collins. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
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Liz Collins is a multi-media artist whose practice converges at the intersection of textile and fiber arts, painting, installation, and design. Her innovative approach to creating and manipulating textiles with dynamic patterns, vivid colors, and sensual materials are the primary components with which she conveys her ever evolving vision for her fine art practice. Her ideas are informed by historical art and design movements such as Op and Pop Art, Arte Povera, Surrealism, and Memphis Design, as well as nature and spirit, and are often infused with her own queer and feminist sensibilities. Working robustly across disciplines, she takes inspiration from Sophie Tauber Arp and Sonia Delaunay as well.
In the multifaceted works included in this exhibition, lines of yarn are malleable like brushstrokes, and patterns created by deconstructing fabric or painted in flashe on canvas represent a move towards a more graphic visualization of energy. Gravity impacts the soft materials making them sag and hang. Explosions, vibrations, and optical phenomena materialize in line and shape, shatter and fracture in dramatic ways, and then align themselves with precision and balance through a concurrent process of renewal and decay.
While inherently abstract, Collins’s works evoke the powerful forces of nature such as water, wildfires, and the sun. In addition to nature, the works are informed by her urban surroundings such as the patterns in construction zone signs near her Brooklyn studio. As part of her process, Collins embraces abstraction, optical effects, and material contrasts to investigate a broad range of opposing themes such as hard/soft, disorder/order, and tension/release. In doing so, she creates unexpected results in textile media and intuitively lays bare expressions of vitality, emotion, and the visceral meaning of existence.
Liz Collins learned about textiles early in her life. She comes from a family who made cloth or things with cloth and she feels it is a part of her heritage. Her grandmother used to knit at the movie theater when she was a young woman in the 1920s. Her other grandmother had a dress shop. Her dad made sails on an industrial sewing machine. She grew up with a do-it-yourself craft mentality and explored working with textiles and yarn at an early age. She discovered that textiles cracked open a truly magical world for her. It is one that is full of alchemical processes, where she sees the ability to shape shift, to instigate and apply her ideas to whatever areas she feels drawn to with passion, love and vision.
Liz Collins lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA and MFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design. While studying at RISD she launched her knitwear-focused fashion label that went from the New York Fashion Week runway to international and media recognition for its innovation within a few years. Her solo exhibitions and installations have been presented at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; the Knoxville Museum of Art, TN; and AMP, Provincetown, MA. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, Leslie Lohman Museum, Museum of FIT, the Drawing Center, BRIC, and Smackmellon, all in New York, as well as Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA, and Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. Upcoming exhibitions include Mischief, a mid-career retrospective at Touchstones Rochdale in England guest curated by art historian Julia Bryan-Wilson.
Collins’ honors include a USA Fellowship, a Rhode Island Foundation’s MacColl Johnson Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts & Artist Relief Grant, Drawing Center Open Sessions, and residencies at Siena Art Institute, Siena, IT; MacDowell Fellowship & Residency, Peterborough, NH; Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York; Haystack Open Studio Residency, Deer Isle, ME; and Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Collins is a Queer Art Mentor, on the Advisory Board of Fire Island Art Residency, and is currently in the Two Trees Cultural Subsidy Studio Program in Brooklyn. In 2020, The Tang Museum released Liz Collins Energy Field, her first major publication.
Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles