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Aspen Art Museum


Liza Lou

Love for Sale
Glass beads, thread and nails on gessoed canvas
28 x 28 x 1 ½ in (213.4 x 160 x 4.4 cm)
Kindly donated by the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.
Estimate: $100,000–$120,000

About this Work

Row upon row of tiny white beads mounted on canvas are abruptly punctured. Right in the center, a vertical slash cuts through the neat lines and a jumbled mass of small red beads, of differing sizes, erupts from below. If the form and color were not explicit enough in their sexualized reference, the title of Liza Lou’s work says it all: Love for Sale (2023).

These little beads have formed the bedrock of Lou’s practice, throughout her career. What began as an individual endeavor, developed into the artist establishing a collective that ran for 15 years in Durban, South Africa, where women produced handstitched beaded cloth, that she was able to use in her work. This practical extension of her interest in labor, merges with Lou’s sustained challenge to the negative perceptions of craft: all tackled from a gendered perspective.

In Love for Sale, there is a delicacy and beauty that typifies Lou’s work. But as always this is undercut—here quite literally—with a visceral violence that suggests the strength and edge that likewise characterizes her oeuvre. This “female” take on or “feminization” of the iconic slashed canvases of one of the great male artists of the 20th century, Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), disrupts the definition of painting—just as he did before her. But Lou goes one step further, disrupting the received art historical canon as well.

About the Artist

Liza Lou (b. New York, NY; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) is an artist who, for the past thirty years, has made sculpture, paintings, drawings and room-size environments that induce states of wonder, beginning with the groundbreaking Kitchen (1991–1996) – a solid beaded room-size environment now in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other large scale sculptures, such as Back Yard, (1996–1999), in the collection of Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, which consists of over 250,000 handmade blades of grass made of beads. From 2005-2020 the artist lived and worked in Durban, South Africa, where she founded an art studio which included a women’s advocacy program—the first of its kind to combine social practice within an art studio settings.

Liza Lou is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award. Rizzoli Electa recently published their second comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work with essays by Glenn Adamson, Cathleen Chaffee, Elisabeth Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, and Julia Bryan-Wilson. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will mount a solo exhibition of the artist’s new paintings in April, 2023, Paris, and Lehmann Maupin will present a solo exhibition of her work in New York in 2025.

How to Bid:

Bidding on this work takes place at the ArtCrush gala on Friday, August 4th, at 8pm MT. Absentee and telephone bidding available - please contact for more information, including a condition report.

There is no Buyer’s Premium and the difference between the mid-estimate and the winning bid is a tax deductible donation to the museum.