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A Word Made Flesh...Front

A work made of photo-lithograph, etching, and aquatint on tea-stained mulberry paper, hand sewn on buff wove paper.

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  • A work made of photo-lithograph, etching, and aquatint on tea-stained mulberry paper, hand sewn on buff wove paper.

Date:

1994

Artist:

Lesley Dill (American, born 1950)
printed by Steven Campbell, and Barbara Spies Labus, with the assistance of C. Tyler Johnson
assembled and sewn by Jennifer Luk
published by Landfall Press (American, founded 1970)

About this artwork

Lesley Dill, whose father was a beloved teacher despite suffering from schizophrenia, and whose mother was a speech and theater instructor, grew up hyper aware of the importance of language. Not surprisingly, she was an English major in college, and it was during that period that her mother gave her the collected works of Emily Dickinson—which proved to be perhaps Dill’s most significant influence. Almost all of Dill’s works contain words, and frequently they are those of Dickinson. Dill has said, “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, and intervening skin between ourselves and the world.” A Word Made Flesh, a series of four mixed-process prints literally transcribes the words of Dickinson onto a woman’s body. While the text is legible in Back and Throat, Dill has manipulated the language within the ghostly composition of Front to the point where only select phrases are visible: “ghastly” over the woman’s chest and “cares” (short for caress) over her stomach for example. In this series, word and image merge with forceful, yet disturbingly vulnerable, effect.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Lesley Dill

Title

A Word Made Flesh...Front

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1994

Medium

Photo-lithograph, etching, and aquatint on tea-stained mulberry paper, hand sewn on buff wove paper

Dimensions

Image/primary support: 73.2 × 55 cm (28 7/8 × 21 11/16 in.); Secondary support: 76.5 × 56.2 cm (30 1/8 × 22 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Stanley M. Freehling

Reference Number

1994.748

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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