Liz Trosper is an artist and curator living and working in Dallas, Texas. She has an MFA from UT Dallas and was a grad-resident at CentralTrak: The UT Dallas Artist’s Residency from 2013-2015. Trosper is represented by Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, and her work has been shown in art spaces such as CentralTrak, The Dallas Contemporary, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Richland College, UT Dallas, Academic Gallery in New York and many other galleries and exhibition spaces. Trosper is a lecturer at UT Dallas and curates a nonprofit experimental art space in Dallas called Umbrella.
My work casts a critical eye toward the legacy of modern and contemporary painting. Using wordplay and feminist critique, I mine formalism for its discriminatory attitudes toward women. I also hope to honor the rich tradition of experimentation, technological exploration and media integration within the discourse of painting.
Formally my work uses elements such as line, space and composition, while deconstructing the actual materials of — and disobeying traditional approaches to — painting. More recently, the works have involved collage elements from fashion and art magazines, evoking associations of the body, self-fashioning, aspiration, fragmentation, skin, paint, embodiment and everyday technology.
I embrace alternative means to making paintings and the importance of the body in both the making and experience of my work. Currently, I am creating 2D images using scanners, small sculptures made of paint and collage that are inkjetted large scale onto canvas, vinyl, acetate, aluminum, paper or other substrates. My practice culls together the tools of painting, drawing, photography and digital imaging.
I’m a painter, but I don’t make paintings in the traditional sense. For some, the idea that my works are paintings is difficult, however, the use of printing techniques, digital technologies and inkjetting as part of painting discourse is well established. Albert Oehlen, Laura Owens, Christopher Wool, Wade Guyton, RH Quaytman, Michael Williams and many others use these forms in their work. I became connected to these practices through my work with John Pomara, a Dallas-based painter who has used many of the same techniques in his own work.
Painting is daunted with questions of what a painting is and how it is made. My work takes for granted that a painting can be made with any tools available. This precedent is well established in the dialog around Wade Guyton’s practice. Being open to these kinds of production methods is part of being receptive to the total upheaval in work and leisure brought on by radical changes in technology pointed out by Claire Bishop in her 2012 Artforum essay, “The Digital Divide.”
While embracing technology, I acknowledge the importance of the body and embodied thinking. My work builds from the flatbed picture plane associated with Rauschenberg’s model of painting articulated by Steinberg. In much the same way that everyone has a memory of the way a bed feels, my paintings play on the sensation of paint, how it looks and feels, juxtaposed with everyday technology, which most people experience as part of a work routine. These works play on those assumptions along with our sense of motion, falling or being caught in some kind of suspension in contradiction to the gravity that acts on our bodies.