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Liza Ryan works with photography, video, and mixed media to investigate and challenge popular notions about hierarchy and power structures in western culture. She photographs and records the seemingly banal or often overlooked aspects of life to uncover hidden strengths and unforeseen connections between subjects.  The irrefutable link between the human and the natural worlds comes into play throughout her practice and Ryan often emphasizes this symbiotic relationship. She makes work about metamorphosis, transformation and hybridization, redefining boundaries while questioning their permanence. Her process relies on extended readings about topics such as ecology, biology, feminism, religion and mythology and the changing climate. The merging of her many fields of study fuels her practice as she combines disparate elements from her readings and studies throughout her practice. 

Ryan has been included in museum exhibitions at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Miami Art Museum. She was commissioned to make a site-specific piece for the 2006 Biennale of Sydney. Ryan has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Reed College’s Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery (cat.); The Herter Gallery at the University of Massachusetts and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Maison Européen de la Photographie, Paris, among others. A survey of her work was published by Steidl in 2018. 

Born 1965, Norfolk, VA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

EDUCATION

1994                         
Master of Fine Arts, California State University at Fullerton, CA

1987                         
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Dartmouth College, NH                

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018
Antarctica, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2015                         
Wind(shield), Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2012                         
Rare Bloom, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Santa Monica, CA                  
Fragment, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins, University, Roanoke, VA (catalog)

2010                         
Exploded Moment, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2009                        
Spill, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR (catalog)

2008                        
New Work: Video and Photographs, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2007                        
Motion Pictures, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (catalog)

2006                        
Fluid, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
G- C Arts, Las Vegas, NV

2004                        
Liza Ryan, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2003                        
Surface, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2001                         
Weight of Light, Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center, Amherst, MA                         
Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1999                       
Witness, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998                         
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
Hollins University Art Gallery, Roanoke, VA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Book Club: Going Native, Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, CA

2016        
Recent Acquisitions in Focus: Latent Narratives, Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA 
Beauty and the Beast: The Animal in Photography, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

2013                         
This Side of the 405, Ben Maltz Gallery, OTIS, Los Angeles, CA
Tapping the Third Realm, Ben Maltz Gallery, OTIS, Los Angeles, CA

2010                         
State of Mind: A California Invitational, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

2006                        
Biennale of Sydney: Zones of Contact, Australia

2005                        
Weather, William Griffin Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2003                        
Contemporary Photography from The Manfred Heiting Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Soft Machines, The Brewery, Los Angeles, CA

2002                        
New Acquisitions/New Work/New Directions 3: Contemporary Selections, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
The NSM Vie Foundation and the MEP: Supporting Young Photography, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore
Amerika-Europa, Ein kunslerischer Dialog, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany

2001                         
Portretten & Stillevens: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Double Visions: Photographs from the Strauss Collection, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA
Inhabiting, Galerie Lelong, NY

2000                        
California Invitational, Ansel Adams Center for Photography, San Francisco, California; University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA
TCM at 12: Recent Acquisitions, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI
Summer Group Exhibition, Galerie Lelong, NY
Self/Developed, Eyre/Moore Gallery, Seattle, WA

1999                        
Domestic Pleasures, Galerie Lelong, NY
Threshold and Domestic Space, Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA
Body/Language, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
Sig-alert, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ

1998                         
Degrees of Stillness: Images from the Manfred Heiting Collection, SSK Foundation - August Sander Archive, Cologne, Germany
Personal Visions, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
Lightscapes, Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art, Las Vegas, NV
Spread, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1997                         
Luminous Code, Texas Fine Arts, Austin, Texas. Curated by Jennifer Blessing, curator at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY

1996                        
Current Fictions: Work by Emerging Artists, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
Documenta, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA
Pursuing the Undocumentable, curated by Sue Spaid, Los Angeles, CA 

1995                         
P.L.A.N: Photography Los Angeles Now, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

COLLECTIONS

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
The Rosenkrantz Foundation, Berlin, Germany
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH