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Artist Erika Lize creates large-scale installation in Pierce College solo show
Installation view.


WOODLAND HILLS, CA .- The Pierce College Art Gallery opened Erika Lize’s solo exhibition 'Gazing into the Great Unknown'. Lize is a painter who creates illusion-based installations. Mysterious, biomorphic forms appear to exist within the walls of the gallery, while tendril-like elements expand and emerge into the physical space of the viewer. She imagines gallery walls as symbolic thresholds between different realms of existence, between life and death. The illusionistic quality of these installations also speaks to how perceptions and beliefs create reality.

The use of illusion in her work is important, as it gives rise to simultaneous feelings of wonder and uncertainty in viewers. For Lize, it serves as a metaphor for how we can feel such awe for the beauty, complexity and interconnectedness of the world we live in, while also harboring intense feelings of doubt and anxiety surrounding the big questions of where we come from, what the purpose of our lives is and what happens when we eventually die.

Lize has always been drawn to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is a tale that considers how our perceptions of the world around us create what we believe to be real. When our perceptions change through experience, so do our concepts of what is real. In her installations, the use of illusionistic and sculptural paintings work in conjunction with actual light and shadow to create a transformative experience for viewers, as their perceptions shift with a greater understanding of the relationship between artistic materials and exhibition space.

The installations serve as a parallel for the journey of our personal and shared life experiences. Individually, each piece has its own inspirations, pulling from sacred geometry, nature and symbols of the feminine. Overall, these works speak to the deep-rooted questions we have always faced in relation to the existence of the universe and our role in it.

Erika Lize was born in Chicago, Illinois, yet was raised in a tiny town in Northern Wisconsin. Much of her childhood was spent exploring the woods, swimming the lakes and climbing the snowdrifts of this serene part of the country. Her upbringing fostered a strong connection to the natural world, which remains an important aspect of Lize’s life and artwork.

Ms. Lize is an artist that creates site-specific, illusion-based installations with acrylic paint. Most recently, she has built installations within the Vita Art Center, Gallery 825, Launch LA, ArtShare LA, and the International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Her work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Beautiful/Decay, HiFructose, The Huffington Post and Beautiful Bizarre magazines.

Erika Lize earned a BFA in Painting from UNC Asheville, and her MFA in Painting from CSU Northridge. She is a Professor of Art at Moorpark College, as well as the Director of the Moorpark College Art Gallery. She lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.





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