Jul 25, 2018

A Word Made Flesh

A Word Made Flesh


Part of a set. See all set records

Lesley Dill

(American, b. 1950)

Set of four photolithographs, etching, and aquatint, with spit bite, scraper, sandpaper, and drypoint, in black and blue

Sheet: 74.7 x 56 cm (29 7/16 x 22 1/16 in.); Secondary Support: 76.2 x 56.3 cm (30 x 22 3/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1995.220



The title of this suite comes from Emily Dickinson's poem "A Word made Flesh is seldom / And tremblingly partook..." Much of Lesley Dill's previous work took the form of objects---a dress, a suit, ears, eyes, and so on---made of paper that was inscribed with lines of Dickinson's poetry. Partially inspired by a trip to India, where Dill saw women who painted their hands and feet, this series marks a change in direction for the artist. She explained, "Initially, I'd thought of words like armor, but in the last couple of years they've been coming more and more literally into the body." For these works, Dill whitewashed the bodies of her models (all friends, assistants, or former students), painted phrases from Dickinson's poem directly on their flesh, and photographed them. She enhanced the images by combining photolithographs made from her own photographs with etched plates that extended the hair, increased the shading, etc. They were printed on Mulberry paper, stained with tea, and hand-sewn onto the backing sheets.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.