Liz Nielson became an artist to overcome the personal challenge the discipline of Art presented to her. As she told the LVL 3 gallery blog “It began when I was 20 years old, about to graduate from college with my BA in philosophy and Spanish. I decided to take an art class for an easy A. I got a C. And it was only the second C that I’d ever gotten. I became interested in art because I wasn’t good at it.”
Photography was Nielson’s chosen medium of expression and the abstract her subject matter. Although when she moved from Chicago to New York in 2011 Nielson flirted with street photography, but it was the abstract aspects of the environment she was moving through rather than the interaction happening thereon, that is the usual fodder of the genre, that caught her eye. As she explained to LVL 3 “I spend a lot of time biking and walking around staring at the ground, looking at gum, paint marks, oil stains and cracks.”
Since then Nielson has returned to the studio to work on color-field inspired abstractions that she refers to as “compositions.” With her camera left in the corner Nielson works with an enlarger and cut out shapes of transparent stage lighting gels that she exposes with red light. The luminous photograms she produces are the result of a counter intuitive process where colors are reversed and chance plays it part over riding the precision and science employed in their production.
Her current exhibition Liz Nielson: Magic lantern about which the publicity material states “Her evocative compositions bring to mind mid-century abstraction, Victorian magic lantern shows and centuries-old stained galss windows,” is on show at New York’s Laurence Miller Gallery until the 28th of February.