Curated by Tom Kotik
Rays, a new installation by Liz Collins commissioned by Arts Brookfield, activates the façade of 15 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn by enveloping the viewer in a larger-than-life version of the artist’s spontaneous colored pencil and black paper drawings. Collins developed Rays from a series of improvised drawings she created during a residency at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York in 2015. Within this fully developed new work, large-scale luminous lines intersect to create an animated zone that Collins likens to a laser light show. While traversing the corridor, one can almost get lost in the myriad of different colorful patterns that pop-up every few inches. In doing so, the viewer can fully immerse themselves in these brightly colored thickets, entering a strangely lush universe of dark and light – a landscape that feels both tactile and fleeting at the same time.
Liz Collins works fluidly between art and design, with an emphasis and expertise in textile media. Embracing abstraction, optics, and extreme material contrasts, her art creates expressions often driven by the materials themselves, as well as by pattern, structure, and repetition. Collins’ practice aims to create sublime visual and sensual experiences that flow into the giant expanse of exquisite production. She produces objects that are meant to be looked at, experienced, and absorbed; objects that enthrall, transfix, and confound, both on their own and through the context and meaning she has bestowed upon them as an artist.
Of her improvisational method which created Rays, the artist writes:
“Once the first line is drawn the piece starts determining itself. Every line begets another line. Some are next to, radiating out from, others are anchors that serve as departing points. First the game is all about radiating lines that flip and flop and grow from and off each other. Then it becomes lines that start at converging points and fan out, layering over each other to make 2D into 3D and spark electric intersections of color and networks of repeating angles. I challenge myself to the evolving games, and each stage has to move to the next level once I achieve harmony and satisfaction. New rules build on old rules and the system evolves. How long can you make that line? When do your tools hit their limits? Long ruler, pencil sharpener, warm colors, bright cool colors, metallics, white, brightness with color…. Can converging saturated color of any shade equal brightness and create light? Luminosity is key.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Liz Collins has had solo exhibitions and installations presented at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD Museum), LMAK, Heller, and BGSQD, all in New York, NY. Outside of New York City, Collins has had shows and projects at the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; AMP, Provincetown, MA; Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN; DLUL Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia; and Rossana Orlandi, Milan, Italy. Collins’ work has been included in group exhibitions in at Leslie Lohman Museum, the Museum of FIT, New Museum, MoMA, The Drawing Center, BRIC, Smack Mellon, and Addison Gallery in Andover, MA, among others. Collins’ honors include a USA Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts & Artist Relief grants, Drawing Center Open Sessions and residencies at Siena Art Institute, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Haystack, the Museum of Arts and Design, and currently at the Two Trees Cultural Subsidy Studio Program in Brooklyn. In spring 2020, the Tang Museum released Liz Collins Energy Field, the artist’s first major publication.