LIZ NIELSEN: ROMANTICIST
2525 Michigan Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Danziger Gallery is pleased to announce our third exhibition of photograms by Liz Nielsen and our first show of her work in Los Angeles. The show will open on April 29th and run through June 17th.
Nielsen’s work joins and adds to the historical tradition of the photogram – one of the medium’s earliest processes – and one of increasing interest in the world of contemporary art and color photography. Simply described, a photogram is an image created without a camera by placing objects or shining light directly onto photographic paper and developing the paper. Each picture is by nature unique - a record of the moment or event created by the artist.
To make her pictures, Nielsen begins by drawing out her imagery. She then builds a complex system of layers, like a printmaker, that allows her to control where, when, and in what order light touches the paper. This gives her the freedom to essentially paint onto the paper in broad to narrow strokes and in an endless variety of colors. In the darkroom Nielsen’s innovations take on a performative nature as every picture has to be completed in one session which can take as much as a whole day to complete. When finished, the paper is rolled into a light proof container and then developed in the same way as any color print.
In Nielsen’s words: “The analog color darkroom is a magical place where a pitch-black environment allows only the vision of the mind’s eye. I enjoy working in this way because everything is variable. In my current work, there is a focus on achieving transcendence through abstraction. I seek out shapes and symbols, looking for mathematical connections that give order to disorder. The images that I create are compositions of these collected shapes, placed strategically in alignment with the cosmos - places for collective consciousness to emerge.”
Deeply interested in expanding the boundaries of the photographic medium, Nielsen’s vibrant and luminous abstractions transform preconceived notions of traditional photography. Influenced by her philosophical studies, knowledge of the physics of light, and color theory, she uses photography to investigate visual cognition. Nielsen is fascinated by light because it is both tangible and ethereal—it surrounds us, and as she says, “it has the incredible power to shape space, infuse emotions, and transcend time.”
Liz Nielsen (b. 1975, Ashland, WI) received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL; her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and her Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University, Seattle, WA.