Liz Larner

16 Sep 2016 – 22 Oct 2016

Galerie Max Hetzler | Goethestraße

Berlin, Germany


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Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce an exhibition with new sculptures by Liz Larner.


Already in the 1990's Larner presented her work in group exhibitions with Galerie Max Hetzler in Cologne and Luhring Augustine Hetzler in Santa Monica. This is her first solo show with the gallery.

Since the 1980's, Liz Larner explores and extends the conditions and possibilities of sculpture. Her works are informed by the relationship between object, viewer and their surroundings as well as a deep interest in manifold materials and their particular qualities. Here, the artist puts a focus on the changes and symptoms of decay that certain materials undergo in the course of time.

The exhibition presents a group of new ceramic works. In the late 1990's, Larner discovered the material of ceramic for her artistic practice. Fascinated by the autonomy of this ancient medium, the artist experiments with various compositions and forms. Especially the process of firing and glazing harbours a moment of unpredictability and chance that is significant for the final object and which adds an uncontrollable component to the work with ceramics. Larner creates heavy forms, which, coated with coloured epoxy,  describe intensive, shimmering colour gradients that emphasise the underlying shape.
The surface of the objects is often crossed by cracks and ruptures. Flaws that Larner initially tried to restore but which she accepted over time as inherent instability of the material. Her works titled caesura integrate these fissures. Caesura is a literary term that describes a gap or a pause within a poem. For caesura, Larner lays the unfired ceramic slabs over a form. Almost breaking, the works build a deep chasm and create a unity that contains a gap or pause in itself.
Another title, subduction, refers to the process of plate tectonics in which two earth plates move upon the other and cause a rupture. Larner's subductions similarly push on top of each other and become two shifted planes that allow various depths and shades. In calefaction, Larner incorporated stones and minerals to her works. Due to the heat of the firing a variety of new cracks, fissures and irregularities appear and create a relief-like surface.

Beside Larner's ceramic works, the exhibition depicts the installation the mushroom table, 2011-2016. The mushroom table, consisting of a simple desk with a seemingly unfinished ceramic sculpture in its centre, was situated in the exact same disposal at the studio of Liz Larner in Los Angeles. The epoxy still drips on the floor and the entire arrangement appears as if the artist just paused the process to immediately finish her work in the next moment.

In the window gallery of Goethestrasse, the sculptures smile (abiding), 1996-2005, and smile (fangs), 1996-2010, are presented. Slightly bent upwards, smile (fangs) reminds of sharp teeth. The use of porcelain, a hard and translucent material, emphasises this impression and also gave Larner the impulse to engage further with other ceramics in the late 90's.

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Liz Larner


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