cover image Liza Lou

Liza Lou

Eleanor Heartney, Lawrence Weschler, Arthur Lubow, Peter Schjeldahl. Rizzoli, $60 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8478-3461-7

This gorgeous volume collects two decades of Lou's obsessive beadwork art, beginning with the amazing Kitchen from 1995, through her later, darker work, such as 2008's Maximum Security, completed in South Africa, where Lou currently resides. The contributors provide excellent insight into Lou's art, life, and influences. Schjeldahl kicks things off by discussing the early work, including Kitchen and Back Yard, aptly describing the former as "ungraspable in its wholeness," and the latter as "a steady-state hallucination." Heartney focuses on Security Fence, Cell, and Scaffold, among other pieces, calling Cell "a gray, tan, and white-beaded room replicating...the deathrow cubicles at San Quentin jail." Weschler interviews the artist about her performance piece, Born Again, a narrative he describes as "bringing out both the glory and the horror, the splendors and the violations inherent" in the artist's childhood "in a born-again Christian household." Finally Lubow discusses Lou's decision to move her studio to Durban, South Africa and her recent work, most of which centers around "the loci of confinement." A beautiful book that manages to capture the true wonder of Lou's work. (Mar.)