Friday, October 11, 2013

MOCA, downtown San Diego, Liza Lou's 'Color Field' Installation

by Cathy Breslaw

'Color Field'   20' x 20' floor piece  steel rods, glass beads,particle board
As you walk into the MOCA building, your eye is drawn to a floor art piece in the distant atrium. Liza Lou’s “Color Field” is a richly hued carpet – it is reminiscent of what you might see from an airplane flying low over a field of grasslands, divided by various crop ‘colors’.  This 20 by 20 foot work sits in an open space that visitors can view from any angle.  Created from thousands of same-sized steel rods and thousands of multi-colored beads of same shapes and sizes, they all fit neatly into equally spaced small holes drilled into white particle board. Once you get past the sheer beauty and brilliance of the color combinations as they sit neatly in various sized square, rectangular and L-shaped forms, it is mind-boggling to realize the time, focus and tedious journey it must have been to create it. Lou’s piece was not created alone – her studio in Durban South Africa where she has worked since 2005, has allowed her the opportunity to work with 30 Zulu artisans in a non-profit center to both create work as well as developing her economically sustainable projects. On the San Diego end, Lou had a large group of volunteers who helped put the installation/sculpture together. ‘Color Field’ is also experiential – as the viewer walks around it, the colors shimmer and follow a mesmerizing and reflective pattern that blurs with the movements and pace of the viewer. This floor canvas pays homage to color field painting and pop art of the 60’s with a highly meticulous attention to craft.

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