Artist: Liz Nielsen
Exhibition title: Snake Charmer
Venue: Horizont Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Date: February 8, 2017 – March 22, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Horizont Gallery
Liz makes her photographs in a completely dark environment. Without the use of a camera, she builds her own negatives and paints with light. Using flashlights, laser lights, toy lights, and her cell phone, she spills light onto the paper. Transparent shapes are cut out with a scissors and layered on top of plastic. Handmade cardboard puzzles are taken apart and put together in the darkness allowing multiple exposures to emerge on the light sensitive paper. The light bleeds and is also contained. She enjoys working this way because everything is variable. It is impossible to create the same image twice making each of her photogram’s unique.
In her most recent work, Liz’s focus is on transcendence through abstraction and recontextualization. Her images fold time and space creating an overlap or an emergence of two worlds. The photographs presented in Snake Charmer reveal manifestations of these double visions evoking a third space. To see it, the viewer must dedicate strong attention to both the representation and the abstraction at the same time. And if they succeed, a hypnotic effect occurs: an apparition materializes and opens up a portal for the mind to transcend through. Still lives dislocate from the gravity of the present. Monuments and sculptures appear to contain projected virtual realities with symbolic messages. Landscapes become weightless and transparent returning simply to shape and color. Inside the meditation, the spirit magnifies and transcends.
Liz Nielsen is a New York based artist who works as a photographic light painter in the analog color darkroom. In September/October 2016, Liz was an artist resident at the Budapest Art Factory. In April 2016, Nielsen had a solo exhibition at Danziger gallery in New York. In June, her light collages were in a two-person show in Cork Co. Cobh Ireland at the Sirius Art Center. Last year, Nielsen had 3 solo exhibitions: Night Garden at SOCO gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, Magic Lantern at Laurence Miller gallery in NYC and Wolf Moon at Denny gallery in NYC. Her recent exhibitions have been reviewed in the New Yorker, Art21, Charlotte Magazine, and Beautiful Decay. Nielsen received her MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.