“I was renting a live/work space in Highland Park, Liz Larner was my next door neighbor, and Jason Meadows had a studio a few doors down, it seemed like a pretty inspiring strip of geography to be making objects. Around the corner was Mr T’s bowl and these sisters–identical twins from Wisconsin–had reopened the diner there as “The Gutter.” The first time I went there Lux Interior (rip) and Poison Ivy were having breakfast… I needed no more signs.“

3 questions with Made in L.A. artist Ricky Swallow:

DECADE Theme Preview: L.A. Angels
Work 3: Liz Larner’s 2001, 2001

Liz Larner’s large-scale fiberglass and steel geometric sculpture 2001 is coated in automotive paint, giving the work an iridescent quality that makes it appear to change color from green to purple, depending on the angle at which it is viewed. Larner is part of a group of Los Angeles–based artists who use elements of dark humor in their creations. Some viewers are unsure how to feel about this sculpture, with its part-playful, part-foreboding, and slightly sinister qualities.

Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Liz Larner


Episode No. 182 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Liz Larner and curator Tamara Schenkenberg.

Liz Larner’s sculptures explore forms that seem rooted in the familiar – a cube, a sphere, an ‘X’ – but that push beyond the familiar to reveal the possibilities inherent in familiar shapes and spaces. Her work will be spending the summer on the outdoor terrace at the Art Institute of Chicago. The installation will feature two of Larner’s recent works, the stainless-steel X (2013), a work first shown at that year’s Nasher Xchange in Dallas, and the sculpture 6 (2010-11). The works will be on view on a Larner-designed wooden platform the will serve as a base for both works. The installation (pictures of which are above), which was organized by curator Lekha Waitoller, will all be at the Art Institute through September 27.

Larner was the subject of a mid-career survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and her work has been featured in single-artist shows or installations at the Kunsthalle Basel, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, and the MCA Chicago.

On the second segment, Pulitzer Arts Foundation curator Tamara Schenkenberg will tell us about the Fred Sandback piece she’s installing for the re-opening of the Pulitzer this weekend. (The museum has been closed while it’s expanded its Tadao Ando-designed building.) Sandback’s Untitled (64 Three-Part Pieces) will be on view at the museum through September 12. Sandback created the work, which has only been installed once, in Munich in 1975, to have 64 different possible permutations. With Sandback’s idea in mind, the Pulitzer will realize one of those permutations each week over the course of the exhibition.

How to listen to this week’s show: Listen to or download this week’s program via SoundCloud, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:


Don’t be deceived by these images of heavy quartz rocks and rich epoxy glazes. Far from valorizing thickness and density, Liz Larner’s sculptures undermine them.

“There is a whole tradition where volume and density and mass are almost the same thing: that if something is big then we need to sense how heavy it is, and how dense it is, and how massive it is,” she told then-MOCA associate curator Russell Ferguson in 2001. “I wanted to try to take some of these things and change the relationships.”

Like Mel Bochner’s measurement sculptures, and Lawrence Weiner’s text and instruction pieces, Larner’s works can define a physical space while simultaneously hollowing it out. She talks more about her practice and her artistic concerns on MOCAtv.

Liz Larner - The Artist’s Studio - MOCAtv


An extensive mid-career survey, Liz Larner (2001-2002) was the first American museum exhibition to focus on the Los Angeles artist and provided a rare opportunity to see the full scope of her practice—drawings, photographs and above all sculptures that ranged from the hand-held to the room-sized, the informe to the traditional.

Larner’s primary goal is to create objects that energize the space around them and make the viewer aware of their dynamic relationship to the sculpture in the room. One of those objects was Untitled (Wall) (2000-01) which used changing color to introduce an alternative structure to the work’s otherwise unified form. 

“I use color in a way that doesn’t reiterate the form of the sculpture, but interrupts it and reinvents it as something else,” Larner told exhibition curator Russell Ferguson in 2001. 

Untitled (Wall) is on view at MOCA Grand Ave again as part of Room To Live. Get up close and personal with Larner’s sculpture on MOCAtv.

Liz Larner - Untitled (Wall) (2000-2001) - Room To Live - MOCA U - MOCAtv