Studio Visit with Liza Ryan in advance of her solo presentation of new work as part of Gallery Platform LA cycle 3.
On view from October 15 - 21, 2020.
For more information, and to view the works, please click on the this link.
Liza Ryan works with photography, video, and mixed media to investigate and challenge hierarchies ubiquitous within western culture. The irrefutable link between the human and the natural worlds comes into play throughout her practice as Ryan often emphasizes this symbiotic relationship. She makes work about metamorphosis, transformation and hybridization redefining boundaries while questioning their permanence. Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents a selection of works from the artist’s newest series focusing on the octopus as subject.
Through this new series, the artist asks the viewer to question the structures that have traditionally ordered our society. What if we embraced difference and reacted enthusiastically with curiosity to those unlike ourselves? What if we put our hubris aside and considered collaboration with different people and beings a necessary step toward expanding human intelligence?
Ryan began studying octopuses after learning about their complex cognitive and physical abilities while at the same time noting their low status on the “creatures who deserve humane treatment” spectrum. She learned that though octopuses are capable of higher-level thinking and have been proven to feel pain, they have no legal protection in this country. She draws parallels between the octopus, a uniquely intelligent creature deemed unworthy of safeguarding, and other beings and humans similarly marginalized.
Initially, the octopus proved a challenging subject to photograph because, due to their aversion to bright light, they live in darkened spaces and are frequently in motion. Through her field work the artist observed: “Octopuses change color, shape and texture, they stare at you and study your movements with curiosity and intelligence, they move with fluid, hypnotic grace. Eight arms, all containing neurons, and possibly independent thinking, snake around seemingly of their own volition. They are silent.”
Liza Ryan lives and works in Los Angeles. She has been included in museum exhibitions at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Miami Art Museum. 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, amongst others. A survey of her work was published by Steidl in 2018.