Liz Nurenberg

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Technology has drastically changed how people interact and communicate. We share many of our most intimate life moments through a screen. Video chat apps allow us to have “eye” contact across distance and time barriers. But touch is a sense that has not been digitized in the same way (yet.) It is an in-person, real-time reciprocal sense. My research and practice focuses on touch and relationships. The objects I make explore themes of intimacy, awkwardness, and personal space.

My sculptures facilitate physical interactions, sometimes between a person and an object and other times between an object and more than one person. Participants use or inhabit the pieces, making their bodies integral to the sculptural outcome. Each person determines their own level of interaction under a set of circumstances.

We have become accustomed to holding our social interactions in our hands. These interactions are slick and technological; they limit the physical intimacy that is possible through touch. My Twiddle, Poke, Hold, series explores intimacy with objects through hand held forms. These sculptures gain texture through material play, both hard and soft. The handholds suggest ambiguous function and reference product design, everyday objects, and ergonomic form.

In the Body, Object, Body, Mark installation, the element of color was muted to explore how it affects our understanding of objects and space. Quieting what we see to accentuate the tactile qualities of the sculptures and to trace the presence and absence of participants. The sculptures become camouflaged in the space so that the participant’s bodies become the most colorful aspect of the installation. The space and work collected marks; the physical evidence left behind by interaction which created a visual memory and record of touch.

The Conversation pieces position participants into arrangements that refer to different types of conversations in order to investigate how we communicate. Social interaction is a sort of dance that can take many different forms. In a one sided conversation, one person is really in control, one participant is inside the sculpture while the second holds the handles. In another there is an object designed after the idea of whispering and secrets. The space that the object is used in plays a great role in how it functions. A third form has two people seated across from each other, on either side of a mirror-tiled viewing tunnel. The participants go between being attentive to their partner and being distracted by their own reflection.

My Body Pressure with wedges and [Touch] series Headpieces are multi-person sculptures, props that connect people through proximity. They create social spaces that allow us to reconnect with our bodies while we interact with each other. My furniture sculptures function much in the same way except the body is supported by the artwork.

All of the forms ignite our senses allowing us to be fully present in the moment. A variety of materials and textures are used to enrich the tactile experience of the object. Sound and color engage the auditory and visual. Design Inspiration is taken from everyday things, furniture, tools, and apparatus. I am deeply interested in objects that change with the environment and respond to architecture. The sculptures can be both comfortable and uncomfortable, the effect of the experience varies based on the level of intimacy that exists between participants.



Master of Fine Art, Studio Art
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art and Design
Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
Fellowship, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residency, Saugatuck, MI

Solo Shows and Awards

Twiddle, Poke, Hold, Elephant Art Space, Los Angeles, CA
Body, Object, Body, Mark, Eastside International, Los Angeles, CA
Faculty Focus: Liz Nurenberg, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA
California Community Foundation Fellowship Award: Emerging Artist Grant
Affect, sponsored by FAR: Autonomie Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
[Touch] MFA Thesis Show, East Gallery, Claremont, CA
Helen B. Dooley Fellowship, Claremont Graduate Univ., Claremont, CA
Solo show, South Western Michigan College, Dowagiac, MI

 Selected Group Shows

Tiger Strikes Austin, ICOSA, Austin, TX (forthcoming)
Psychopomp, Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles, CA
The Collectivists, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, CA
Part and Full, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA

Material Culture, William Rolland Gallery, Cal. Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA
We gave Our Best, Now the Rest is Up to the Hope Chest, A traveling exhibition: Eastside International, LA, CA; Imersten, Vienna, Austria; Osztrák Kulturális Fórum, Budapest, Hungary Parkeology Season I, In Dust We Trust, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
Irrational Exhibits 9, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA

Rush Hour, Perform Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
After Victor Papanek, The Future is not what it used to be curated by Jeff Cain, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
LA n CV 2, Coachella Valley Art Center, Indio, CA

Mas7, Santa Monica Art Studios, Santa Monica, CA
Superficial LAndscapes, North Gallery, Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA
Potential Bodies, The Space, OTIS Grad Studios, Culver City, CA
Surface Tensions, Craftswoman House Temporary Residency, ILGWU, Long Beach, CA

Blindsided Threesome Plus One, curated by David Pagel, Claremont Graduate, Claremont, CA
The Femail Project, The ARTicle Gallery, Birmingham City Univ., Birmingham, UK
14@<40, Frank M. Doyle Pavilion, Orange Coast College, CA

Medicine Chest, Lux Lighting, Los Angeles, CA
Leap Year, curated by David Pagel, Claremont Graduate, Claremont, CA

Irrational Exhibits, Track 16 Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
ReVisions of LA: Workshop instructor, LACE, Los Angeles, CA
Messy Aspirations, Riverside Arts Project, Riverside, CA
Voyeuristic Exhibitionism, Concord Space, Los Angeles, CA


David Pagel, “Go ahead, touch the art. That’s the whole point ‘Twiddle, Poke, Hold,’” LA Times, April, 2017

Patrick Quinn, “Moments of Comfort and Awkwardness at Elephant Gallery,” Art and Cake, April 2017

Kristine Shomaker, “Finding Intimacy Through Contemporary Art,” Art and Cake, Oct. 16, 2016

Catherine Wagley, “After Victor Papanek: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be,LA Weekly, August 19th, 2015

Sharon Mizota, “Design for real peoples real problems showcased in a group show at the Armory,” LA Times, May 29, 2015.

Dave Barton, “14<40: Young at Art,” OC Weekly, October 10, 2013

Falling James, “Performance on Parade,” Artillery Magazine, Volume 5 Issue 6, 2011

 Visiting Artist Lectures

Artist Lecture, Biola University, La Mirada, CA, 2017
Artist Lecture, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, 2017
Artist Lecture, Weber State University, Ogden, UT, 2017
Artist Lecture, SouthWest Michigan University, Dowagiac, MI, 2008

Teaching Experience

Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
Low Residency Grad Program Mentor

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
Adjunct Faculty: Building Form, Form and Space, and Creative Practices and Responses

California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA
Part-time Lecturer: 2-D and 3-D Design