MIAMI – The Kimpton EPIC Hotel presents a new art exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month titled Mira Lehr: Continuum, on view now through April 20. The nationally acclaimed eco-feminist artist is celebrated for co-founding Continuum in 1961, one of America’s first art collectives for women artists. It thrived for more than 30 years, and her vision to kick-start the local art scene influenced the evolution of the visual arts in Miami.
The Hotel created its new EPIC Art initiative to advance the works of local artists and provide its visitors an insider’s look into the destination’s vibrant art scene.
Critics praise Mira Lehr as the real-life Marvelous Mrs. Maisel of the male-dominated art scenes in 1950s New York and 1960s Miami. At the age of 87, Lehr is creating more new work now than in all of her six decades as an artist. The all-new works in this exhibition have never been exhibited before and were created by Lehr in 2021 and 2022.
In honor of Women’s History Month, one of the new paintings in this exhibition is titled Julia’s Prophecy (for Julia Tuttle). Known as “the mother of Miami,” Tuttle was pivotal in pioneering the city of Miami in the 1890s. The hotel is located near the spot where Julia Tuttle first settled.
New techniques and discoveries have paved the way for new visions and experiments in Lehr’s art, and this exhibition thrives on that sense of newness. “I am grateful to have been selected for this art exhibition honoring Women’s History Month, and to share this new series of works, some definitely representing a departure point,” Lehr said, adding, “I no longer feel as though I have those masters of art history sitting on my shoulders, watching what I am doing. I am more of an explorer now. I can now create in a more powerful way. I find that this realization often comes late in life, after a long career, and I believe my 60 years of work has made me, in Hans Hofmann’s words, ‘search for the real’ in a more profound way.”
To emphasize the peril of climate change that we are now experiencing, Lehr experiments with the use of fire. “This natural element of fire, often controlled and abused by man, is a major medium in my work and my interest in the environment has become a driving force,” she said, and continued, “Drawing with fuses and loose gunpowder on top of subtle hand drawing, I set the entire work ablaze, embracing the risk that such a gesture could destroy my entire painting. Afterward, only a trace of the flame’s path remains, bringing an exciting energy to the work and the suggestion of destruction.”
About the Artist Mira Lehr
Mira Lehr’s solo and group exhibitions number in excess of 300. She is a 1956 graduate of Vassar College, and she will be the subject of a 400-page international monograph by art book publisher Skira Editore, to be released in the spring of 2022.
Lehr has been collected by major institutions across the U.S., including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Getty Museum Research Center, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center in New York, the Margulies Collection, the Mennello Museum of American Art, MOCA North Miami, the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and the Orlando Museum of Art. Her work can be seen in American embassies around the world and is permanently on view in the Sloan Kettering Memorial Center.
Her nature-based work encompasses painting, sculpture and video. She uses nontraditional media such as gunpowder, fire, fuses, Japanese paper, dyes and welded steel. Lehr is known for igniting and exploding fuses to create lines of fire across her paintings.
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