Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Paris of work by the Los Angeles-based artist, Liza Lou.
Fusing art history and religious rites with the artist's own experience growing up in an evangelical Christian sect, this exhibition focuses on the experience of being outside the blessing of God, and the use of the body as a means of reaching spiritual transcendence in a series of sculpture, video and works on paper.
The principle sculpture in the main gallery is an allusion to The Expulsion from Paradise, painted by Masaccio in the 15th century. Here, Lou casts the Western world's first sinners as 21st century heroic giants.
With their bodies shimmering in the golden light of thousands of beads, Adam and Eve are simultaneously an image of mortal shame and sensual knowledge.
In Self Portrait No. 2, The Heretic, Lou continues an exploration of the body as the gateway to spiritual transformation. The Heretic is a life-size portrait of the artist balanced in a yogic knot with her feet poised behind her head and her tongue extended Kali-like in a fierce gesture of defiance and vulnerability.
Presenting herself as both the artist-subject and the body-object, the body becomes a meeting place of public demonstration and personal release.
The Holy Spirit as the essential component of creation and redemption assumes its art historical form as a dove in Manifestation, Miracle 1. Suspended in radiant rings of light and defined by individual wires threaded with thousands of beads, the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is rendered as an ecstatic pop explosion.
In The Worshipper, two figures sit in lotus posture reflecting each other, their physical forms captured in the moment of transformation by fire. This is not the Christian fire of sin and damnation but the regenerative fire of enlightenment, the radiance of inner form revealed.
The counterpoint to the radiant sculpture of Liza Lou is Born Again, a single-take solo performance in which the artist reveals formative childhood experiences. In this vivid portrayal, Lou reconciles both the sacred and profane forces that have informed her life and her art.
The duration of the film is 50 minutes. Born Again will be screened daily at 11 AM, at 6 PM, or by appointment.
Liza Lou has exhibited internationally, including Fondation Cartier, Paris; Biennale de Lyon d'art Contemporain, Lyon; Taipei Biennale, Taiwan; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The New Museum, New York.
She has had numerous solo shows including Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo and Fondacio Joan Miró, Barcelona. She was a 2002 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.