Opening reception: Thursday, November 17, 2011
With an obsessive fascination for the poetry of Emily Dickinson, New York artist Lesley Dill has been making exquisite paper sculptures for almost ten years. Festooned with Dickinson’s words and phrases, these elegant and eloquent objects take the form of dresses, necklaces, and female figures.
The rice paper Dill generally uses looks and feels like a dressmaking pattern, but it is sewn like fabric, building volume and shape as it is puckered, tucked and baste stitched by hand. Using several kinds of lightweight, exotic papers, Dill lends an ethereal quality to these sculptures, the heartfelt quotes from Dickinson’s poetry giving them a timeless, traditional aura. They seem airy and fragile, weighted only by the significant text which is often printed like veins or lifelines across their surfaces.
Like Jim Dine with his empty bathrobes and Kiki Smith with her flayed bodies made of paper or bronze, Lesley Dill has produced an identifiable vocabulary of signature images early in her career. She has shown widely across the country in major museums and galleries, including George Adams Gallery in New York.