Liz Collins: Rays


Sep 20, 2018–Mar 10, 2019

Liz Collins developed her “Rays” series (2015) during her 2015 residency in the Museum of Arts and Design’s Artist Studios program. Originally composed as drawings on black craft paper, “Rays” was manufactured as the wallpaper panels Feria 1, 2, and 3 (2017) by the textile company 4Spaces. The original drawings and wallpaper were acquired by the Museum for its permanent collection in 2017. 

Working across the spectrum of textile media, Collins plays with material and phenomenological dualities like dark vs. light or tight vs. loose, pushing the limits of her materials and process in unexpected ways. Her artworks, incorporating vivid colors and dynamic patterns and emphasizing textures and inventive structures, surround the viewer in vibrating color fields to investigate the boundaries between painting, fiber arts, and installation. Collins’ background in fashion and textile design is evident in her treatment of the black craft paper as fabric yardage to explore the layering of line and color, working to see how many lines can converge at a single point. The final drawings illuminate the dark background like a laser light show or the aurora borealis. 

This is Collins’ second intervention in MAD’s lobby, following the final iteration of her eleven-year performance and site-specific project KNITTING NATION 15: Weaving Walls in 2016. 

Liz Collins is an artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn. She received both a BFA and an MFA in Textiles at Rhode Island School of Design, where she served as a member of the Textiles faculty from 2003 to 2013. In addition to pursuing her art and design career, she has since taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and Moore College of Art and Design, and has been a visiting artist and critic at many art and design schools. Collins’ awards include a United States Artists Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and residencies at Alaska AIR, Haystack, the MacDowell Colony, the Siena Art Institute, Stoneleaf, Yaddo, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Heller Gallery, New York; Textile Arts Center, New York; Art Market Provincetown, Massachusetts; AS220, Providence; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee. A Queer Art Mentor, she is a board member of the Fire Island Artist Residency, a new member of the Exhibitions Committee at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and one of the artists in the 2018–2020 Open Sessions program at the Drawing Center.

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