Liz Collins is a New York City- based artist who has been working across art, design, fashion, installation, and performance for two decades. Employing a range of natural to synthetic materials, incorporating vivid colors, dynamic patterns, emphasizing textures and inventive structures, Collins enjoys pushing the limits and doing the unexpected across the spectrum of textile media. She has had solo exhibitions at the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; Heller Gallery, NY; AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA; Occidental College, LA; Textile Arts Center, NY; AS220, Providence, RI; and the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions including at the ICA/Boston; Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; the Museum of FIT; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Museum of Arts and Design and MoMA. Collins’ awards include a USA Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and residencies at Haystack, Yaddo, AIR Alaska, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Collins received both her BFA and MFA from RISD and was an Associate Professor there from 2003-2013. She has since taught at PRATT, SAIC, and MICA, and is currently Interim Chair of Fashion Design at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
My current work explores the boundaries between painting, fiber arts, and installations, creating spaces that envelop the viewer in vibrating color fields. My process is experimental and performative by nature. Forms evolve from a desire to transcend not only distinctions between fine art and craft, but order and chaos as well. To that end, explosions, vibrations, and optical phenomena materialize, shatter, fragment, and then precisely re-align. In my current installation at the Tang Museum, for example, thick tangles of black thread cascade from a woven ceiling panel designed with red and yellow zig-zags, their dense yet delicate flow simultaneously obscuring and revealing the hard-edged geometry from which they pour. Physical space and architecture are active players in my work, giving discrete objects new form and meaning – paintings become rugs, which become wallpaper – and allowing the viewer’s embodied experience to take center stage. The dizzying array of sensations evoked by the cacophonic play of optics, texture, color and scale, recreates for them my vacillating experience of the world as a place of stupendous wonder and cosmic energy.