Lesley
Dill

Born 1950 in Bronxville, New York
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Year created:
2011
DeCordova Exhibits

Lesley Dill, Woman in Dress with Star, 2011
unique cast bronze, 62 x 52 x 52 inches
Courtesy of the artist and George Adams Gallery, New York
Photograph by Melissa Ostrow

Click images for larger view

62 x 52 x 52 inches

unique cast bronze
Courtesy of the artist and George Adams Gallery, New York. Major funding for Lesley Dill has been provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional support for this exhibition has been provided in part by an anonymous donor, Joyce Linde, and The Meredyth Hyatt Moses Fund.
Exhibit Date: 
On View May 16, 2014 - Oct 13, 2014

No longer on view.

Lesley Dill uses language as a mode of communication, as subject, as symbol, and as a vehicle for visceral experience. For over twenty years she has consistently coupled words with the human figure in a wide range of media. In this survey of her work, text is written in paint, cast in bronze, stitched into paper, and drawn on wood. It streams down faces and hands as if it were blood or water—sometimes legible and other times not. Many of these works draw inspiration and image from the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Franz Kafka, Pablo Neruda, and most recently of Tom Sleigh. Dill explains, “I think of words, and especially the poems of Emily Dickinson, for their embodiment of psychological states of despair and euphoria, as metaphors for being, as a kind of spiritual armor, an intervening skin between ourselves and the world.”

Lines of text make their way onto disembodied heads, hands, and dresses—all recurring motifs in Dill’s oeuvre—communicating her interest in the politics of the figure, psychology, and faith. The interiority of belief is exhibited outwardly in Dill’s tactile works calling attention to the dualities at play: the physical and the psychological, the written and the spoken, text and image. Through her sculptures, books, and drawings, Dill harnesses the transcendent power of language.

Major funding for Lesley Dill has been provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional support for this exhibition has been provided in part by an anonymous donor, Joyce Linde, and The Meredyth Hyatt Moses Fund.

To access deCordova’s audio tour, dial 781.730.4683. To hear Lesley Dill talk about:

  •   Working with the female figure, dial 100#
  •   How Woman in Dress with Star was made, dial 101#
  •   The symbolism of the star, dial 102#
  •   How literature influences her work, dial 103# 
  •   How she selects literary passages, dial 104#

Taken off view October 13, 2014.