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Liz Lessner: common wealth- salves for precarious times, the interstices of labor and care, July 27 – September 7, 2018

Liz Lessner, common wealthsalves for precarious times; the interstices of labor and care

common wealthsalves for precarious times; the interstices of labor and care is an exhibition of new works by DC artist Liz Lessner, commissioned by Buffalo Arts Studio. The sculptures are castings of the negative space between people engaged in gestures of physical, intellectual, and emotional care giving and receiving. An essential part of Lessner’s practice involves spending time with participants and working with them to represent their unique relationship through intimate gestural connections. As a result, Lessner spent a week in residency at Buffalo Arts Studio where she documented the social, physical, and emotional support provided by some of the mental health, human service, and cultural organizations in Tri-Main Center including Aspire WNY, Inc. iXpress, Cantalician/Diversified Labor Solutions, and the Buffalo Arts Studio Jump Start program.

 

Lessner’s process is intimate; a cooperative experience built on a patient and compassionate practice. Although naturally ephemeral, the participants’ gestures must be held over time, frozen in suspended animation as Lessner applies the foundational plaster cast. After the casts are removed from the subjects, Lessner finishes them with gypsum and fiberglass. Finally, she places the sculptures atop steel rods, consciously recalling Ancient Greek pediment figures installed so that fragmented limbs appear suspended in the appropriate anatomical place. In the end, common wealthsalves for precarious times; the interstices of labor and care represents not only the space between people engaged in meaningful action, it also forms a timeless record of three interconnections: client, service provider, and artist

Liz Lessner is a sculptor and installation artist whose work combines traditional fabrication techniques and emerging technologies to create sensory experiences that reframe common occurrences and routine encounters. She is currently the Studio Fellow at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. Lessner has had solo shows at Honfleur Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo, NY; and the University at Buffalo Visual Studies Gallery in Buffalo, NY. She has also exhibited nationally and internationally at the Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology in Michoacán, Mexico, A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and Everard Read’s Circa Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds an MFA in Media Study from the University at Buffalo. Her research into embedded electronics’ ability to create novel sensory experiences has been supported by grants like the Mark Diamond Research Fund, fellowships like the Eyeo Artists Fellowship, and awards like a 2019 Fulbright Research Award to Brazil.

Watch Liz Lessner speak about her process:

 

Press

Liz Lessner’s exhibition Appetites/Anxieties at CEPA Gallery

Liz Lessner, Fulbright, and the works of Lygia Clark in Rio de Janeiro

Washington Post: In the galleries: Art that expresses the feel of the foggy bottom

Fluid Bodies,  Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology Michoacan, Mexico

Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology – Liz Lessner testimonial

Washington Post: In the galleries: Art that thrives in natural light

 

Follow the artist

Instagram: @lessnerliz

Portfolio Site

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