Liz Young
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"What though the radiance that was once so bright, be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind."

Written in Century Standard Bold - the negative space of these prophetic letters peering out from a 23" x 29" sea of dense black ballpoint ink, are from the 19th century poet William Wordsworth's Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood – a poem that artist Liz Young immortalized in Splendor in the Grass, a drawing from 2018. Liz Young, an extraordinary artist and the kind of person who stays in our hearts forever, died on December 22, 2020--- but as in the poem, not for grieving but for finding strength in what she left behind.

After a rather short battle with cancer, she died peacefully with a dear friend holding her hand; knowing that she was deeply loved by her friends, peers, students, and colleagues as well as by her immediate family -- her two sisters, Nancy Walker and Katie Young and her brother, Malcolm Young. She will be remembered as a doting aunt to Elliot and Harriet Rose, and to Molly, Woody and Will Walker. Liz was also a devoted teacher and co-chair of the Visual Arts Department at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where she taught for twenty years.

Liz Young will be remembered and revered as a dynamic Los Angeles based artist, where she lived and worked since 1981; known for diverse work investigating body and nature-focused themes, such as loss, beauty, the inevitability of decay, and the fragility of life. She has produced sculpture, installation, performance, painting, drawing and video incorporating fabricated and re-contextualized found objects, organic materials, and processes from industrial metalworking to handicrafts, taxidermy and traditional art practices. She has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe including solo shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) where her work is in the permanent collection, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), as well as in a multitude of alternative spaces throughout the U.S. In 2016, Young received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship; she has also been recognized with awards from the Getty Trust and the Andy Warhol Foundation, among others.

Liz Young left us with many lessons that she taught by example: to always move forward with a positive attitude, that relationships are built on trust and truth, and that anything and everything is possible if you embody it. Liz took a lot of chances – she was fearless in her art as she was in her life, but no matter what, she taught us that hard work and determination breeds success in all things.

These are final words of Wordsworth's poem:
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

You can learn more about Liz Young:

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Los Angeles Times from Jan. 27 to Feb. 26, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
February 4, 2021
with love...
February 3, 2021
Thinking of Liz, I can't stop singing this old Kurt Weill song.
'Speak low when you speak love
Our moment is swift like ships adrift
We're swept apart too soon.
Speak low, darling speak low
Love is a spark, lost in the dark
Too soon, too soon.
I feel wherever I go that tomorrow is near
Tomorrow is here and always too soon'.
Ah Liz....
John Fleck
February 3, 2021
This photo so well captures Liz's radiant and warm personality. An incredible being, smart, talented, so strong, so nice, so wonderful to be around. She had such positive, creative, loving, fun energy. She lives in many people's heart.
Bernadette Colomine
February 2, 2021
Will always miss you LizY, too soon....
tahmineh javanbakht
February 1, 2021
Liz had an artful life. Making work by “making it work.”
Needle and thread, paper and pen, knife and suture.
She was clever with words and deeds. She loved life.
She was curious and lively, amusing, industrious and resilient.
Liz was a force of nature. I will miss her forever.
Debbie Spinelli
January 29, 2021
I will always love you my friend. Your smile was like a permanent tattoo that will never fade. Your heart was bigger than the moon. You are a one of a kinder and won't be forgotten by me and the many of friends that loved you. What an amazing, uncompromising, inspirational life.
Bobby Neel Adams
January 28, 2021
Liz was a bright light and a breath of fresh air, always. Her work was extraordinary and compelling. She could make dark subject matter so accessible and inspiring. She was a formidable artist and teacher. Tough on her young students and extremely giving. Nothing stopped Liz. She truly overcame obstacles daily with finesse and a matter of factness, never afraid to ask directly for help to literally get over something. She's been part of my life for over 35 years and a part of my family. I’m dreading a new wave of grief when we get back to “normal” and that realization that her light is still missing. miss you lizzy so much.
Joy Silverman
January 28, 2021
You, my sweet Lizy wil be my inspiration forever. Thank you for your presence in my life. Thank God for you.
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