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120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193

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Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Womanshow 2006 / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
Gallery News

Contemporary Art by American Women Artists: Lesley Dill (American, b. 1950)

Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Jonna Rae Brinkman, Louisa Chase, Chryssa / Sue Coe, Susan Crile,
Lesley Dill, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Nancy Graves, Harmony Hammond, Judy Chicago,
Anita Jung, Elaine de Kooning, Joyce Kozloff, Lee Krasner, Karen Kunc, Ellen Lanyon, Georgia Marsh, Suzanne McClelland,
Phyllis McGibbon, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Judith Murray, Louise Nevelson, Judy Pfaff,
Jaune Quick-to-see Smith, Joan Root, Susan Rothenberg, Betye Saar, Niki de St. Phalle, Hollis Sigler, Kiki Smith,
Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Dorothea Tanning, and Emmi Whitehorse
Born in Bronxville, New York, in 1950, Dill attended Skidmore College and Trinity College, Hartford, and earned a BA in English. Subsequently, she earned an MA in art education from Smith College and an MFA from the Maryland Institute, Baltimore. Her prints, often at Landfall Press, combine traditional techniques, such as lithography, silkscreen, and etching, with collaged elements. Dill works in sculpture, photography and performance using a variety of media and techniques to explore themes of language, the body and transformational experience. Her work can be found in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art. The artist's first museum retrospective, Lesley Dill: A Ten Year Survey, was organized by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz in 2002, and traveled to the Colorado University Art Galleries in Boulder, Colorado, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. As The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu noted in announcing a show of her work, "This survey exhibition highlights the work of New York artist Lesley Dill. At once a painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer and performance artist, Dill seems impossible to categorize. Her choice of materials and the scale of her work ranges widely. One of the most identifiable qualities of Dill's work is how she examines the function of language and its relationship to the physical. Her images and constructions explore the elusive boundaries between mind, body and spirit. In particular, her work uses metaphorical imagery to investigate the roles of language and clothing in cloaking or revealing the human soul. In her early career, Dill often fashioned sculpture in the form of dresses and suits but had never combined the forms with letters or words. After reading early American poet Emily Dickinson, whose verse demonstrated a delicate balance between exposure and reticence, Dill began to think of clothing as an emotional boundary between the body and the universe. She also began to consider garments as housing for the body, which in turn is housing for the soul."In the 1990s, Dill's dresses and suits began to be shaped by words–words as a second skin and as the remnants of our physical existence. For almost ten years, Dill has been fashioning these exquisite paper sculptures. Layered with linguistic excerpts, often from Emily Dickinson's poetry, these elegant and eloquent objects take the form of dresses, necklaces and female figures."
Lesley Dill (American, b. 1950), Soul (Tamarind 94-345a). Original lithograph with stitching and collage on paper stained with acrylic paint, 1994. 30 signed & numbered impressions on Chiri/Gasen natural paper + 10 Roman numbered impressions& 3 Tamarind impressions. Her work is included in the collections of the de Young Museum in San Francisco, The Library of Congress, MoMA, the Metropolitan and Whitney Museums, & others. Image size: 295x245mm. Price: SOLD.
Lesley Dill (American, b. 1950), Listen: Dust is the only secret. Original lithograph on stained paper with synthetic fiber, 2006. 120 signed and impressions annotated "Ed. 120" for the Madison Print Club plus 20 artist proofs. Her work is included in the collections of the de Young Museum in San Francisco, The Library of Congress, MoMA, the Metropolitan and Whitney Museums, & many others. Image size: 410x260mm. Price: Please call or email for current pricing information.

The poem is titled after an Emily Dickenson poem of the same name:
Dust is the only Secret—
Death, the only One
You cannot find out all about
In his "native town."

Nobody know "his Father"—
Never was a Boy—
Hadn't any playmates,
Or "Early history"—

Industrious! Laconic!
Punctual! Sedate!
Bold as a Brigand!
Stiller than a Fleet!

Builds, like a Bird, too!
Christ robs the Nest—
Robin after Robin
Smuggled to Rest!

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