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Lesley Dill

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Homage to F.K. #2

42 7/16 x 32 7/16 in. (107.8 x 82.4 cm)

Lesley Dill
United States

Object Type: Mixed Media
Medium and Support: Ink and thread on tea-stained linen
Credit Line: Gift of the Gallery Council
Accession Number: 2004.2
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Location: Not currently on view

In Homage to F.K.#2, Lesley Dill was inspired by two creative and enigmatic artists: Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) and American poet Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886). With cloth and thread, Dill recreated Kahlo’s bitter self-portrait in which Kahlo depicted herself after cutting off her hair in anger to punish her unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera. On layers of tea-stained linen, Dill applied lines from a 19th century poem by Emily Dickinson, whose words hit the artist “emotionally, like a thunderbolt” upon first reading the book of poetry she received on her birthday from her mother:

You cannot put a Fire out --
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan --
Upon the slowest Night --

You cannot fold a Flood --
And put it in a Drawer --
Because the Winds would find it out --
And tell your Cedar Floor –

While Kahlo and Dickinson were women who were clearly passionate about their art, Homage is layered with ambiguities. The flowing threads suggest hair as well as fire and water; the delicate feminine stitchery delineates a woman known to have been bisexual, whose self-portrait is decidedly masculine.

[Gallery label text, 2004]

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