Liz Larner was born in Sacramento, California in 1960. She experiments with abstract sculptural forms in a dizzying array of materials, including polychromatic ceramics that evoke the tectonic geologic shifts of the western landscape. An inventor of new forms, Larner’s sculptures are not easy to categorize. They defy easy description by design, such as the geometric sculpture of a cube turning into a sphere that is both yet neither, or a complex chain of linked metal rings that never tangles and can also be worn as jewelry. Optically they allure and confuse, such as her sculptures of wiry boxes that appear to solidify into new shapes based on the alignment of colors.
Working with both analog and digital tools, Larner’s materials change from work to work and can include fiberglass, crystals, paper, clay, aluminum, steel, rubber, epoxy, mirror, cloth, and even bacteria. As daring as her investigation into new forms can be, Larner’s sculptures are approachable in their human scale and idiosyncratic vision that favors personal narrative over minimal austerity.
In the following preview from the Los Angeles episode of Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century, Larner describes her interest in working with clay from her Los Angeles studio. “It’s so interesting that dust becomes this material that is probably one of the hardest things to degrade,” says the artist.
Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premieres Friday, September 16, 2016 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. Los Angeles airs Friday, September 23 at 9 p.m.