press release

Venue: Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge / MA

Liz Magor: BLOWOUT is the Canadian artist’s first East Coast institutional solo exhibition and features a newly commissioned body of work. Co-organized by the Carpenter Center and Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the exhibition will first be on view in Cambridge and then travel to Chicago (April 27–June 23, 2019).

For more than four decades, Liz Magor’s practice has quietly dramatized the relationships that develop among objects. Drawing on materials familiar from daily life, she carefully pairs elements of tenderness and exposure, often playing soft against hard, weak against strong, hand-made against mass-produced. Each artwork conjures broad social histories and is driven by intimate, contingent dynamics of power, desire, and vulnerability.

In BLOWOUT, Magor uses Mylar to create clear plastic support forms recalling commercial packaging for a number of sculptural “agents”—stuffed toys that she alters in various ways. In another installation, 32 pairs of secondhand shoes line a low structure, each displayed within its own box amidst elaborate embellishments. Magor uses sculptural techniques like casting, containing, cutting, and reattaching to create these hybrids, which she arranges into sprawling vignettes.

A publication—the artist’s first US catalog in 15 years—will record this new work alongside newly commissioned texts by the exhibition’s curators and writers Sheila Heiti and Mitch Speed.

Public programming includes a curatorial walkthrough with Dan Byers on February 8, 12:30pm; artist talk with Liz Magor on February 28, 6pm; and a talk with Art Historian Dan Adler on March 12, 6pm.

Liz Magor: BLOWOUT is co-organized by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and is co-curated by Dan Byers, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center, and Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.

Exhibition support is given by the Henry Moore Foundation and the Canada Program, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

Liz Magor (b. 1948) lives and works in Vancouver. In 2017, her work was the subject of traveling survey at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Migros Museum, Zurich, and MAMAC, Nice. Other recent solo exhibitions of her work include: Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry - le Crédac, Paris (2016), Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal (2016), the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2015), Peep-hole, Milan (2015), Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2014), and Triangle France, Marseilles (2013). In addition, she has had solo exhibitions at Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2008), the Power Plant, Toronto (2003) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (2002). Magor participated in Documenta 8, Kassel (1987), and the 41st Venice Biennale, Venice (1984).