Artist Lesley Dill's exhibit on display at LSU Museum of Art starting Sept 6, lecture at College of Art & Design in October

Artist Lesley Dill's exhibit on display at LSU Museum of Art starting Sept 6, lecture at College of Art & Design in October
Photo provided by LSU Media Relations

POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 5:04am

From September 6 through January 19, 2014, the LSU Museum of Art will present the work of New York-based artist Lesley Dill with the exhibit “I Gave My Whole Life to Words,” which explores Dill’s visual poetry.

The LSU Museum of Art is located on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette Street, in downtown Baton Rouge.

An interdisciplinary artist, Dill freely ranges from sculpture, printmaking and photography to create installations that become an open book for the viewer. “I Gave My Whole Life to Words” will feature the first public showing of Dill’s Extasie series, which debuted at the Miami Biennale in 2012.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dill will also present a lecture, titled “We Are Animals of Language.” as part of the LSU College of Art & Design’s Paula G. Manship Endowed Lecture Series. Hosted by the LSU School of Art and free to the public, the presentation will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. in Room 103 of the Design Building.

During her lecture, Dill will explain why words have such meaning for her and how she uses text in her work. A reception with the artist will follow the lecture from 7-8 p.m. at the LSU Museum of Art, where attendees may view Dill’s work in the museum’s exhibition.

Dill will be one of a series of visiting artists participating in the School of Art 2013-14 season, titled “Malleable Language”, a visual and critical exploration of the artistic tradition of combining text and image. For more information on the lecture, contact Kitty Pheney at kphene2@lsu.edu. To view a complete schedule of the LSU College of Art & Design’s Lecture Series, visit http://design.lsu.edu.

“Lesley Dill epitomizes the 21st-century artist, adhering to philosophers and writers from the 19th-century but breathing life into their written work by providing physical, tangible forms,” said LSU Museum of Art Executive Director Jordana Pomeroy. “Language and literature have long intertwined in Dill’s works, which range from printmaking and photography to sculpture and operatic performances, and often utilize charcoal, metal, paper, silk, horsehair, wire, sheer cloth, papier-mâché and thread. In the exhibition, Dill explores the multi-faceted nature of words, while presenting a visual poetry that is altogether relatable and deeply personal.”

Dill has long been interested in language. She studied English at Trinity College, received a master’s degree in philosophy from Smith College, and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Maryland Institute of Art. However, she credits her lifelong love of words to her mother, a high school speech and drama teacher. 

“I had grown up as a reader,” Dill said. “The world behind the words was so real to me that words became like little people. They mean something, even if they’re in a different language. Even if you don’t understand them, they have a presence.”

Since the early 1990s, Dill’s work has largely focused on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, but other poets and writers including Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka and Tom Sleigh serve as inspiration as well. While Dill calls herself “a collector of words,” her work is also attuned to ancient archetypes, myths and cultures. Pushing the boundary between rational understanding and intuitive perception, Dill’s art suggests many layers of meaning and no one interpretation may encompass all possibilities. However, words undeniably supply one access to our spiritual nature in these works of visionary power.

“Lesley Dill: I Gave My Whole Life to Words” is on loan from the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and is made possible in part by support from Country Roads Magazine – Celebrating 30 Years of Adventures Close to Home. 

  

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