During the pandemic quarantine this year, the celebrated artist Mira Lehr has created more work now than ever before in her six decades of artmaking. Her new series, called Planetary Visions, represents a bold departure for the artist.
She has been invited to present a solo exhibition featuring this new series at Rosenbaum Contemporary gallery in Boca Raton, Florida (November 16 – January 16).
The gallery has launched online initiatives to allow art lovers from all over the world to experience Lehr’s new work across digital platforms.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of Lehr’s visionary founding of Continuum, one of America’s first women artist co-ops which she pioneered in 1960.
“This is a major turning point for humanity. Because of the global pandemic, for the first time in human history, the entire population of the planet is thinking about the same problems ─ and grasping for the same solutions,” says Mira Lehr.
“Together, we can meet this challenge and use this time to transcend across borders and places, with a unified vision for the world. We must now work together to address global problems without thoughts of artificial separations between human beings.”
What This Earth Does Not Remember, I and II, by Mira Lehr, from the new series Planetary Visions (acrylic, ink, gunpowder, ignited fuses, burned and dyed Japanese paper, and handwriting on canvas), 2020.
“The title Planetary Visions refers to the need for all of us to remain focused on this shared vision that we need. We are a one-world landmass island, surrounded by water, flying across the galaxy on our Spaceship Earth. What happens in one part of our world affects all of us, and the pandemic proves this like never before,” adds Mira Lehr.
“Planetary Visions also refers to the mythical places featured on some of these newer paintings, my visions of environmental flash-points happening around the globe,” adds Lehr. “While these are all imaginary places that I envisioned as an armchair traveler during the pandemic, the climate issues depicted are very real: rising seas, air pollution, global warming, and more.
These issues also point back to the pandemic. Each invented place represents different climate challenges that are alarming, and time is running out for our planet Earth.”
She ignites gunpowder fuses across the landmasses to create the visual effect of fuses from a ticking time-bomb.
“I feel the need to explore new creative pathways now. To create new imagery of imaginary places and events in nature, creating poetic visions of the earth and as a result, a more inventive and carefree approach has taken over my work,” says Lehr.
“My previous work was more part of a certain tradition in abstraction. These new works are original visions, and it feels like they are coming from a different place, more spiritual perhaps. Replaced by more of a subject matter and a narrative, about the planet and these visions.
I feel this is all new. I have no way to analyze it, this is just different.”
“It feels like I no longer have art history sitting on my shoulders and watching what I am doing. I am more of an explorer now,” says Lehr.
Ancient Secret Map, by Mira Lehr (burned Japanese paper, ignited gunpowder, ink, thread and pins on canvas), 2020.
“So many friends have expressed their loneliness, boredom and frustrations at this time, with the quarantine. I understand, and I empathize,” says Lehr. “For me, however, I experienced a surge of new ideas and concepts while alone during the quarantine.”
“This time of concern about the earth has changed everything, and I don’t think the planet will ever be the same again. We’re on the brink of making it ─ or not making it.”
“There has been more time to reflect, experiment and dream in my studio sanctuary. Being alone, without the comings and goings of normal times, has opened up new worlds for me.”
According to Lehr, “My paintings have become darker, more mysterious. Encased in a layer of resin that creates the appearance of a layer of ice that seems to cover the surface, separating the image from the viewer. Time appears to stand still, waiting for the moment to search for solutions for our world.”
“These glossy surfaces also conversely carry us in ─ because the reflection is an invitation to be involved, to be aware. Help our Spaceship Earth! There’s still time, but the clock is ticking.”
The artist Mira Lehr with her painting Norweky (acrylic, ink, burned and dyed Japanese paper, ignited fuses, and handwriting on canvas), Portrait photograph by Michael E. Fryd (2020). From her new series Planetary Visions, that she created during the pandemic quarantine.
The depth of Lehr’s perspective and the scope of her trajectory are singular, having worked as an artist through the social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, the 80s and the 90s . . . and now the 21st century, with its direction into the unknown that feels so impossible to navigate.
The new exhibition features a selection of twenty works by Lehr, spanning nearly 2,000 square feet, with the entire front of the gallery dedicated to this new show. The gallery is located at 150 Yamato Road, in Boca Raton, Florida.
The exhibition may be viewed on-site during gallery hours, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Tues-Sat), in accordance with current Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Additionally, reservations for exclusive, private in-person viewings without any other visitors in the gallery may be made in advance by calling 561-994-9180.
Private zoom viewings also available, exclusively with the gallery owner for his personal walk-through online of the show via Zoom.
Digital viewing also features this 360-degree virtual tour of the exhibition.
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