For three years, artisans in Durban, South Africa, have been stitching together the 600 beaded-cloth layers that make up the centerpiece of Liza Lou’s new exhibition in New York, the 100-foot-long canvas work The Clouds.

The piece, which debuted at the 21st Biennale of Sydney, is on view at Lehmann Maupin gallery’s new Chelsea flagship on West 24th Street. But it’s only part of the new show, “Liza Lou: Classification and Nomenclature of Clouds,” which is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York in 10 years and stretches into the gallery’s West 22nd Street location as well.

Other works on view include Lou’s free-form beaded sculptures, smaller woven glass bead paintings, new large-scale drawings, and a multi-channel video. These bodies of work mark an evolution for the artist, who exploded onto the scene in 1996, when the New Museum’s then director Marcia Tucker exhibited Lou’s life-size installation Kitchen, a suburban kitchen where every surface was covered with glittering beads, elevating a traditionally decorative craft material to the realm of fine art. Read more