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.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Lesley Dill
- A Word Made Flesh...Throat
- United States
- Photo-lithograph, color etching and aquatint on tea-stained mulberry paper, hand sewn on buff wove paper
- Signed, recto, lower left, in graphite: "Lesley Dill"; inscribed, recto, lowe left, after the signature, in graphite: "199 II/V"
- 747 x 560 mm (image/primary support); 765 x 566 mm (secondary support)
- Gift of Stanley M. Freehling