MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2002

Liza Lou

Installation Artist

Los Angeles, CA

Age: 33

Published September 25, 2002
Portrait of Liza Lou

Liza Lou is a young artist who creates luminous, colorful installation works that merge fine art and craft. Through years of long and meticulous labor, using hundreds of thousands of glass beads, Lou creates large-scale environmental works that turn familiar scenes into breathtaking spectacles of color and complexity. In creating her sculpture, she uses papier-mâché, fiberglass resin, wood, found materials, acrylic paint, and glass beads. Inspired by the mosaics in Italy’s basilicas, Lou spent five years creating her first major work, “Kitchen” (1995). This installation is a three-dimensional, life-size, 168-square-foot replica of a typical American kitchen of the 1950s. It includes a kitchen sink, a cherry pie cooling on an oven rack, and dust balls under the refrigerator, all entirely covered in brightly colored beads. In 1997, she created a bead-encrusted environment, “Back Yard,” covering 528 square feet and containing 250,000 blades of beaded grass in varying shades of green and yellow. Her bead installations are at once stunning works of art and commentary on popular American culture—suburban life and its materialism. With each work, Lou reconfigures elements of day-to-day life, creating easily recognized representations while obliging the viewer to reconsider these items from a fresh perspective.

Liza Lou attended the San Francisco Art Institute. She has had solo exhibits at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Bass Museum of Art, Miami, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, and Fundacio Joan Miro, Centre d’Estudis d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona. Lou has participated in group exhibitions at the New Museum, New York City, Heinie Onstad Kunstenter, Norway, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Fondation Cartier, Paris.

Photos

Hi-res photos for download. Photos licensed under a Creative Commons license. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on the links below to save the file to your computer.

Liza Lou In the Media

"Connected In Color"

From the San Diego Union Tribune
Liza Lou, MacArthur Fellow, 2002 Read More

About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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Class of 2014

Twenty-Four MacArthur Fellows For 2002

Chicago, IL- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 24 new MacArthur Fellows. Each will receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years.   "As the MacArthur Foundation approaches ... Read More