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Untitled, from the "Watercolor" series

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Lui, Elizabeth Gill
  • Date:
  • Medium:
    Collage; Silver dye bleach print
  • Dimensions:
    image: 12 1/8 in x 16 in; paper: 22 1/2 in x 30 1/8 in
  • Credit Line:
    Gift of Anne Myers

About the Photographer

Lui, Elizabeth Gill

American, b. 1951

An artist, educator, and writer, Elizabeth Gill Lui uses photography to investigate the aesthetics of geometry and the symbolic potential of architecture and the natural world. In terms of these investigations, she thinks of herself as a visual philosopher rather than as a photographer: "It’s more about the ideas behind my work than the literalness of a photograph," she states, "I think photographs are metaphors and allegories. They should direct our attention to some higher meaning and a higher purpose.”

In the Watercolors series (1995), Lui creates elegant photo-collages from layered images of light reflecting on bright blue expanses of water. By placing two photographs side by side and fixing smaller prints on top of them, varying their placement and orientation, Lui shapes dynamic, contrasting patterns from the light reflections captured in the different images. Meanwhile, the fluid forms of the light contrast with the geometric outlines of the layered prints themselves. The collages yield a range of perceptual effects and sensations of depth through slight variations in color and the photographic vantage point.

Lui received a BA in Comparative Religion from Colorado College. She went on to pursue graduate work at the University of Denver and at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where she studied architectural photography. Since that time she has also completed a number of photographic projects centered on architecture, including a survey of twentieth-century museums and a monograph about the architecture of American embassies around the world, for which she traveled to fifty countries.