Lesley Dill: Rush
ON VIEW: June 9, 2021 - February 14, 2022
Lesley Dill’s Rush (2006-07) is a visually dazzling, ambitious site responsive work that covers a 20’ x 60’ wall in the Neuberger Museum’s Theater Gallery. This immersive installation is an enormous collage of hundreds of interconnected animal and human figures culled from world spiritual traditions and representing love, death, transcendence, and other themes.
The Neuberger Museum of Art presents Lesley Dill’s Rush, a large, visually dazzling, site- responsive work that premiered at the Museum in 2007 and later was acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection. In this sculptural installation, covering a 20’ x 60’ wall in the Museum’s Theater Gallery, Dill gives visual form to a poetic text by Franz Kafka. Advancing her personal “archaeology of language,” she creates an immersive work that connects the individual viewer to concepts of interior thought through small and large personal and public gestures.
Rush (2006-07) is an enormous collage of hundreds of interconnected animal and human figures culled from world spiritual traditions and representing meditation, death, love, transcendence, and other themes. The figures were cut with a knife from filmy sheets of black photographic foil polished to various shades of silver, backed with silk organza, and then woven together with wire. They combine to create a giant thought cloud emanating from a six-inch seated figure.
Embedded in the collage are letters that spell out a quote from Kafka’s diaries that reads, “The tremendous world I have inside my head. But how free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me.” As this quote conveys, Rush suggests a dark, even sorrowful mental landscape.
Born and raised in Maine, Dill received her Master of Arts from Smith College in 1974, and her Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in 1980. She soon emerged as a sculptor and multi-media artist. She has received a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship as well as the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Anonymous Was A Woman Award, among others. Dill conceived and directed an opera, Divide Light, based on the poems of Emily Dickinson that premiered in at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA in 2008. In April 2018, the New Camerata Opera Company performed Divide Light in New York City. Dill’s artworks are in the collections of over fifty museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Generous support for Lesley Dill: Rush is provided by the Roy R. Neuberger Legacy Program Endowment, ArtsWestchester, with support from the Westchester County Government, and the Triennial Adeline Herder Fund for Collage.
Also of interest:
Watch this episode of Inside the NEU about the Lesley Dill project.