Laws of Thermodynamics


Liz Collins at LMAK Gallery

From the conceptual to the material, Liz Collins is concerned with opposites. In her latest exhibition at LMAKGallery, her interest in contradiction is distilled in the show’s title, Conduition, a portmanteau of the words “conduit” and “intuition.”


In this new word is the marriage of the human— bodies, emotion, and sensitivity— and the mechanical, as in circuitry, wires, and conductors. And yet the boundaries of these realms often overlap, like in Spirit Spout, a sculptural piece containing silver threads that cascade from a square board flush with the wall. These threads at once appear to be wires, the “conduits” of the show’s title, and an aging woman’s hair, lush with her history.

The works in this show are a meditation on threads— they are woven, knitted, hung, draped, and ripped— and their enduring relevance to art. They are not the modern geometries of the Bauhaus weaving workshop, nor are they the feminist tapestries of 1970s textile artists, but rather are wholly of this moment. Threads may be “intuitive,” embedded in human life (weaving is the oldest continuously practiced art form, older even than ceramics), but in Collins’s hands they are also vibrating with energy. Collins proves that there is still electricity in the fibrous material she uses, and enormous potential, too.


And while there is movement, color, and dynamism in many of these pieces, the artist also leaves room for calm. One work along the back wall appears to be a prepared loom awaiting its weft thread, and another knitted piece holds at its center empty space. The largest work in the gallery space, taking up almost an entire wall, concludes its ricocheting diagonals in an inert target at its far right. These objects, shapes, and spaces, however, are not static— as energy cannot be created or destroyed, they contain within them the potential to explode.

Liz Collins: Conduition

LMAK Gallery

Until October 21

Hall Rockefeller