The South-African artist Liza Lou is inaugurating the new Peter-Marino-designed flagship of Lehman Maupin in Chelsea by delving into the ephemeral world of clouds. The self-styled queen of beads, who rocked to art-world fame with her life-size glass bead installation “Kitchen” at the New Museum in 1996, focuses her labor-intensive process on several nebulous constructions as well as the monumental wall piece “The Clouds” which consists of 600 beaded cloths and takes up one entire wall of the exhibition space. But it is her smaller sculptures in the gallery’s 22ndStreet location that shine. Here, bulbous masses of tiny glass particles preplace water molecules and morph into luminous and poetic constructions of such seductive beauty that inspire fanciful meditations on the fleetingness of life. At Lehman Maupin through October 27.