MCASD Presents Liza Lou: Color Field at Its Downtown Location

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 11:18 am

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will debut the newest beaded sculpture by MacArthur prize-winning artist Liza Lou on July 12 at its downtown location, 1100 Kettner Blvd. The exhibition, titled Liza Lou: Color Field, will remain on viewin the Strauss Gallery through November 3, 2013.

Contemporary artist Liza Lou expands traditional definitions of painting, sculpture, and craft in her mesmerizing installations made entirely of glass beads. Lou is best known for her large-scale sculptural installations, such as Kitchen (1991-95)a life-size beaded kitchen which the artist completed in her downtown San Diego studio—and Back Yard (1995-98), a 500-square-foot beaded suburban garden.

At MCASD, Lou will premiere Color Field, her latest large-scale sculpture. Measuring 20 feet by 20 feet, its title pays homage to the original “color field” painters such as Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell. Lou’s Color Field is a floor-bound experiential sculpture that will fill the main atrium with a shimmering field of color that references the grasslands of South Africa where she now works - with a grid of thousands of thin steel rods, each threaded with glass beads to form a kaleidoscopic moiré effect. Edges between the colors become blurred, blending to create new colors, and as the viewer moves around the field, the tones and hues ooze and wobble in a constant flux of radiant color.

Lou started work on Color Field in Durban, South Africa, where she has lived and worked since 2005. In her own words she was searching to “find another way of working, one which can make a substantial difference to other people's lives.” Working with thirty Zulu artisans in a non-profit centre in downtown Durban, Lou continues her efforts to develop an economically sustainable project, while creating truly magnificent and original works of art.

Color Field will be completed at MCASD, where teams of volunteers will aid in the work’s installation over a two-week period. Please see below for additional details. Media who are interested in attending and photographing this process may contact Communications Associate Leah Masterson to make arrangements.

Lou has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries around the world, including, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica; and Smithsonian Institution of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Liza Lou: Color Fieldis organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Underwriting support for this exhibition has been generously provided by Iris and Matthew Strauss. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.



Liza Lou: Color Field > Process

Monday, July 8 through Wednesday, July 10

MCASD Downtown

Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the art installation process! Watch artist Liza Lou and a team of assistants install her labor-intensive Color Field before it opens to the public on July 12. Just as this beaded sculpture was meticulously prepared with a team of artisans in Durban, South Africa, Color Field will be carefully sited at MCASD by a local group of installers trained by and working directly with the artist. Measuring more than 20 feet by 20 feet, this massive, floor-bound sculpture will fill the Strauss Gallery with a shimmering, abstract wave of color.


TNT (Thursday Night Thing): Chromatic

Thursday, July 11 > 7-10 PM

MCASD Downtown

This summer, the Museum becomes a chromatic canvas. Get a sneak peek at Color Field before it opens to the public on July 12. Dive deeper into the art with tours, art-making activities, live music on the plaza, and more. Free for Members; $10 general admission.


Family ArtLab: Color Palette

Sunday, August 25 > 11:30 AM - 2 PM

MCASD Downtown

Dive into a color exploration throughout our downtown campus. Take part in a Look/Explore tour and let our Gallery Educators lead your family in lively conversation about Liza Lou: Color Field and artists Manny Farber and Faiya Fredman. Stay for a hands-on art-making experience. This program is recommended for families with children ages 5 and older. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis; capacity is limited. $10 for Members and Military Families; $25 for non-member families. The family price includes two adults and up to three youth, and includes Museum admission.



Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO of MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


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