Mira Lehr, champion of females artists and friend of Gaia, finds her eighth ten years to be her most prolific
At 85, Mira Lehr is previous sufficient to try to remember a time when the earth was not as equitable to artists of her gender. When the Miami indigenous moved to New York in the 1950s to pursue an art history diploma from Vassar, she encountered a notoriously macho modern artwork scene. For female artists like herself and Joan Mitchell, from time to time the route to survival intended speaking the men’s language.
“The ladies have been really testy,” Lehr remembers. “Joan Mitchell experienced a potty mouth you wouldn’t believe that. She’d go down to the senior bar, and I imagine someone grabbed her breast, and she arrived at behind and squeezed the guy’s testicles so difficult, he screamed. And nobody ever messed with her again.”
Lehr’s time in New York was short-lived. She would forge her legacy, equally powering and in front of the canvas, in Miami Seaside, returning in 1960 to a cultural scene she describes as “an complete desert.” She promptly established Continuum, 1 of the nation’s to start with co-ops for girls artists, launching a lot of a career and cultivating the region’s nascent artwork community. She finally attained the sobriquet “The Godmother of Miami’s Artwork Scene.”
“I didn’t think I would have any influence like that,” she states, in the sitting space of her parents’ historic household on Miami Seashore. “I just did what I did to make an environment that I could be joyful in, and it turned out it helped the whole location. I in no way thought I’d be called the godmother. … It is not how I assume of myself, consider me.”
In addition to serving other artists, Lehr steadily created her personal artistic voice, a person that is rooted in, but not shackled, to individuals ‘50s pioneers of abstraction, and that resonates with a subtext of ecological consciousness. In 1969, she participated in influential futurist Buckminster Fuller’s “World Activity,” in which she was among the 26 thinkers tasked with envisioning a state of affairs in which the world’s assets had been deployed for the mutual advantage of all.
“I normally labored from mother nature,” she claims. “But when I went to function for Bucky Fuller, I turned mindful of the shortage syndrome, wherever individuals had been apprehensive about not acquiring sufficient to go all over. He talked about undertaking more with a lot less. … I did acknowledge more complications that were being happening, and I preferred to aid solve people issues.”
Lehr’s collage perform has mirrored the worsening local climate alter considering the fact that Fuller’s utopian job. Parts like “What This Earth Does Not Remember” attribute tectonically connected landmasses that resemble international maps of alternate timelines, vaguely common formations made from burned and dyed Japanese paper atop a painted canvas. The material alone is fragile, a ideal metaphor for an surroundings below carbon siege.
This operate was amid the highlights of“Planetary Visions,” an exhibition of Lehr’s this past winter season at Rosenbaum Contemporary in Boca. It followed a run of recognition about the past three years that integrated a long-lasting, 183-piece installation at the Jewish Museum of Florida, and displays at the Museum of Modern day Artwork in North Miami and the Mennello Museum in Orlando, which attained a rave from the New York Instances. An great sculpture of twisty mangroves from the Mennello exhibit, developed from metal armature and blowtorched maritime rope, sits up coming to her pool, blending in with the pure fauna.
Lehr has been prolific in conditions of making these kinds of epochal items. In her Miami Beach property, she moves about with a cane, and 3 assistants and her daughter aid with some of the more laborious facets. But, as she suggests, “I function all the time. It’s all I do.” When requested why the previous number of many years have been so successful, she claims: “I’m old. And the many years are passing pretty quickly. I want to get it all in before I kick off.”
Regardless of all the interest she has gained of late, Lehr still worries about staying pertinent.
“I don’t know where by I healthy in,” she says, in an art earth taken by whimsy. “I’m hoping to do wonderful art that has indicating in the course of the ages, things that people today aren’t so anxious about anymore. I come to feel like I’m a relic, but an crucial relic.”
This tale is from the July/August 2021 issue of Boca magazine. For extra information like this, simply click below to subscribe to the journal.