It took a village — over 500 people beading, sorting, and arranging under Liza Lou’s watchful eyes and plan — to install “Color Field,” Lou’s new 1,100-square-foot work, on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, from November 8, 2015, through February 21, 2016. This monumental shimmering work is comprised of thousands of blades of grass (small stainless steel wires), arranged in brilliant squares of 30 colors (over 2 million tiny glass beads strung on the wires). The installation took four years; a team of 30 Zulu women artisans in Durban, South Africa; and 500 museum volunteers to assemble.
Although its name seems to pay homage to the original Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painters of the 1950s and ’60s such as Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler, Liza Lou, a MacArthur Fellow, emphasized that the title is meant to be read as more open-ended. “I titled the work Color Field for the obvious associations to both an art movement and the fact that it is indeed a physical field of color. However, I think of the work as a meditation on process as harvest and growth, as well as color as subject matter.”
The exhibition Liza Lou: Color Field and Solid Grey also includes Lou’s Solid Grey and Color/White canvases, a series of “paintings” woven out of glass beads.
Liza Lou: Color Field and Solid Grey is on display at the Neuberger Museum of Art (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY) from November 8, 2015, to February 21, 2016.