Riva Lehrer

Riva Lehrer
Riva Lehrer
For Lehrer, the disabled body is intensely beautiful—memorable, unexpected, and lived in with great self-awareness. These are not bodies that are taken for granted or left unexplored. This beauty has often stayed unseen despite the constant, invasive public stare.
Comet, Riva Lehrer - Embedded
Lynn Manning: Comet
Charcoal on Paper, 2 Panels
(44” x 30” & 16” x 44”)
2006
Permanent Collection of Access Living
Gift of Mrs. Beatrice Mayer
BIO
Riva Lehrer (b. 1958, Cincinnati, OH) has lived and exhibited in Chicago since 1980. She has had solo exhibitions at the Lafayette Museum of Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, Susan Cummins Gallery (Mill Valley, CA), the University of Notre Dame, and A.I.R. Gallery (NY). Museum shows include the Chicago Cultural Center, the Mary and Leigh Bloch Museum (Evanston, IL), the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL), the Arnot Museum (Elmira, NY), the Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA), the United Nations (NY), the Muskegon Museum of Art (MI), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, D.C.), the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT), and the DeCordova Museum (Lincoln, MA). Awards include the Wynn Newhouse Award for Artists of Excellence, the Carol J. Gill Award for Disability Culture, and the National Endowment in the Arts Individual Fellowship.

Lehrer is curator of the Access Living Collection of Art. She has an upcoming solo exhibit at Printworks Gallery in Chicago in September 2008.

THE ART
For Lehrer, the disabled body is intensely beautiful—memorable, unexpected, and lived in with great self-awareness. These are not bodies that are taken for granted or left unexplored. This beauty has often stayed unseen despite the constant, invasive public stare. Disability is complex; it demands images that combine hard facts with unexpected gifts.

This is a portrait of Los Angeles playwright, actor, artist, and karate master Lynn Manning, best known for his play “Weights,” which explores the relationship between race and blindness. The upper panel of this work includes elements in Braille. The sky behind the tip of Manning’s cane depicts the night constellations from the months of April to October, done in raised dots and engraved lines. The Braille text inside the tail of the comet gives the date of his birth and the date 23 years later that he was shot.