The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) North Miami will present the exhibition “Tracing the Red Thread,” by distinguished South Florida-based artist Mira Lehr, Sept. 6 – Nov. 4, 2018. The multimedia, museum-wide installation will reflect Lehr’s eco-feminist philosophy, the concept of mankind working with nature rather than dominating over it. Lehr uses the classical myth of Ariadne to explore the beauty, fragility and interconnectedness of the endangered aquatic ecosystem of the South Florida coast.
In Lehr’s mesmerizing installation, two and three-dimensional works evoke dense thickets of mangroves, the dangerous beauty of jellyfish and the ethereal luminosity of the coral reef. Lehr creates a mysterious world whose seductive beauty reminds us not only of the gifts that nature gives us, but of the importance of preserving them for the future generations.
Comprised of a variety of multimedia works, “Tracing the Red Thread” focuses on climate change and environmental issues as a major factor facing mankind today. The exhibition draws on the lessons Lehr learned six decades ago working with Buckminster Fuller on his “World Game Project.” As Lehr learned in her work with Fuller, the earth must be seen as a unified island within the oceans so one is made aware of the interconnectedness of all life.
The exhibition’s works include:
Paintings, Resins and Ignited Works
: These works, created with ignited gunpowder and fuses, burned and dyed Japanese paper, and acrylic, demonstrate the close relationship between destruction and creation. The largest of these works is a monumental 40-foot long mixed-media piece.
: Eight towering root systems made of marine ropes with steel armatures will be suspended from the ceiling in MOCA’s main gallery. The viewer will travel beneath them as a way to experience a unique ecosystem particular to our subtropical coastlines.
: Approximately 50 pieces, composed of resin on Plexiglas, will be hung from the ceiling, surrounding the viewer, and casting shadows and mysterious ocean vistas along the walls. The “jellyfish” represent the underside of beauty, alluring but contains hidden danger.
This installation of halide light bulbs, shaped like an ocean wave, illuminates the room and surrounds the viewer in an infinity of light. Projections of water on reflecting coral walls will enhance the idea of man’s efforts to restore coral reefs to the oceans.
Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller Room
In this reading room, visitors will be able to read the book Lehr created after she had studied with the visionary Buckminster Fuller. Images from the book and special hand-woven rugs created in Nepal will be on the walls.
Art to Wear
: This is the first time Lehr’s jewelry, which is made with the resin technique utilized in her murals, has been publicly shown and available for purchase in the MOCA store. The jewelry reflects the nature-based imagery of her work.
“It is an honor to have Mira Lehr, a Miami icon, whose career spans four decades, showcase ‘Tracing the Red Thread’ at MOCA,” said the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami’s Executive Director Chana Budgazad Sheldon. “Lehr has influenced a generation of young artists by serving as a mentor and collaborator in the art community. In this intriguing exhibition, Lehr employs her remarkable aesthetic sensibility and considerable technical facility to entice the viewer into a world of fragile beauty.”
Mira Lehr was born in New York but lived much of her life in Miami which has been a big influence on Lehr and her interests in the subtropical environment. As a young female artist in the 1950s and ‘60s, Lehr was at the forefront of abstract expressionism. She co-founded the Continuum Gallery, the first women’s co-op in the Southeast. Now Lehr is known as an eco-feminist who has concentrated on the nurturing of the planet with unique exhibitions that combine both beauty and elegance with a strong message of the vulnerability of the earth.
Lehr works at the intersection of art, nature, science and performance. She has exhibited extensively around the world, including a solo exhibition, “Second Nature,” at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens; the Vizcaya Centennial Award Exhibition “What this Place does not Remember”; and at the Bass Museum, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, and the American embassies in Sofia, Bulgaria; Mexico City; and Bucharest, Romania. Lehr’s work is included in the Leonard Lauder Corporate Collection, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospitals, in the archives of the Smithsonian Institute and the Getty Research Center.
Admission to MOCA is $5, but free for MOCA members and North Miami residents. An artist reception will take place on Thursday, Sept. 13, with an admission cost of $10 to the general public, free to MOCA members and North Miami residents.