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November Issue 2010

Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, Features Works by Lesley Dill

The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, is presenting the exhibit, I Heard A Voice: The Art of Lesley Dill, on view through Jan. 23, 2011.

For the last twenty years, Dill has been a sculptor, photographer, printmaker and performance artist, all while consistently exploring the human form, language, sensory experience and their interactions. An English major before she became an artist, Dill found her artistic vision when her mother gave her a book of Emily Dickinson's poetry. Dickinson's words resonated with Dill, sparking images that the artist says she just could not ignore.

Dill's work can be both ephemeral and spiritual, drawing on her travels in India and her interest in Buddhism, as she uses bronze, photography, poetry, thread, wire and paper to sculpt figures and build tapestries. Her pieces give visual form to poetic texts by Emily Dickinson, Salvador Espriu, Franz Kafka and others. For Dill, words are her 'spiritual armor' and she freely stitches and weaves them across the surfaces of her multi-layered works.

"Language is the touchstone, the pivot point of all my work," Dill said.

Executive director of the Columbia Museum of Art, Karen Brosius, says, "We are thrilled to bring this artist's work to South Carolina. Dill's work is thoughtful and dramatic and lends itself to dynamic programming that embraces many related disciplines."

The exhibition includes 34 pieces from both public and private collections. Some of the sculptures have been created for this exhibition tour, and many have not been shown widely before. A full-color catalog and a video featuring Dill in her studio accompany the exhibition.

Dill's spectacular new installations are quite a departure for the artist and are the highlights of the exhibition. With these dramatic pieces, Dill delves into an exploration of language and its integration with the human form. In addition, the exhibition features the artist's innovative bronzes and wire pieces. These works push her earlier paper and fabric dress forms into new dimensions. The tapestry format is explored through horsehair, fabric and netting pieces. Leaves, as metaphors for skin and hands, are motifs that have persisted in Dill's work for a number of years. The progression of this imagery over time and its melding with words bring together the artist's explorations of the last decade.

A native of New England, Dill currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has a Master of Arts for Teaching from Smith College, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute of Art. Dill's work is internationally recognized, and she has been the focus of several exhibitions, including two that have toured nationally. Awards include a sculpture fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Her work is in numerous major American museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the High Museum and is also in the Hunter Museum of Art's collection.

A host of related programs will feature lectures, audio and gallery tours, and multi-cultural events and will be announced in September.

The exhibition was organized by the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee in conjunction with George Adams Gallery, NY.

Also on view at the Columbia Museum of Art are the exhibits, Taylor Made: The Art of Anna Heyward Taylor, on view in the Mamie and William Andrew Treadway, Jr., Gallery 15 through Jan. 2, 2011, and About FACE, offering an installation, an annual juried community gallery show by About Face artists in the David Wallace Robinson, Jr. Community Gallery, on view from Nov. 3 - Jan. 16, 2011.

For further info check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 803/799-2810 or visit (www.columbiamuseum.org).


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