Lesley Dill (born 1950), a painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer, and performance artist with an abiding interest in language, typically works with natural materials, including paper, charcoal, horsehair, tea, and rice. 


A book of Emily Dickinson's poetry, a 40th-birthday gift from her mother, dramatically changed the direction of her art. The incorporation of language, specifically poetry, provided new layers of meaning in her art. Such works argue that our sense of self is formed in large part through language and communication. 


Her work can be found in the collections of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Brooklyn Museum; Cleveland Museum of Art; High Museum (Atlanta, GA); Kemper Museum, Kansas City; Metropolitan Museum of Art; MoMA; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Yale University Art Gallery, among many others.


Related Works

  • Lesley Dill often incorporates text into her work—particularly the poetry of Emily Dickinson. For more brilliant, text-based compositions, check out Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg and Mel Bochner.
  • In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, Jodi Colella also explores feminine identity by stitching atop vintage tintypes of women who have been lost to history. View her work.