All She Makes, Issue 4

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Creative quarterly Issue 56

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Wrapping and Unveiling
Emerge Gallery, Jay Youngdahl, Independent Curator


Jay Youngdahl, Independent Curator

A Gift Worth Seeing: a review of Wrapping and Unveiling

Saugerties, NY December 1, 2020


While contemporary artists often work in a multi-disciplinary fashion, combining different media does not always succeed in producing pleasure as well as meaning. One place it does, however, is in Lesley Bodzy: Wrapping and Unveiling at the Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY. For the viewer, Bodzy’s works are thought provoking as well as pleasurable to view.

The show contains over thirty works by Bodzy, and includes paintings and sculptural wall hangings, made of a variety of materials. The works are experiments in production for Bodzy, as with each piece she embarks “upon a journey of discovery, for myself and for the viewer.”

Bodzy, who has mastered many artistic as well as business and legal skills in her life, splits her time between Houston and New York City. An artist deeply focused on craft, she considers herself a painter; yet, her recent work often canters in a three dimensional direction. In the most arresting works in this exhibition, malleable paint skins of various hues and sizes are displayed as folds and coverings, allowing the attributes of the paint to shine through while showcasing mystery and meaning that emanate from the hidden below. The paint skins undulate over whatever is behind, showing a glimpse of surrealism’s influence on Bodzy. Her wrapped objects show as undefined enigmas, inviting one along a pathway of reflections. They allow a viewer to traverse personal multitudes of meanings, a useful exercise in these fraught times.

Skins come in many guises, from bodies to taxidermy and on to Bodzy’s malleable poured paint. As she works with skins, she has studied their use by other artists, especially others working today. The work of Angel Otero, who is currently showing in New York City, is an example, as are the works of the South African artist Nandipha Mntambo. Mntambo is known for her sculptural works, where she often uses cow skins for her material.

As befits Bodzy’s time in the MFA program at the Art Institute of Chicago, a number of influences from the art history canon can be seen. One is reminded of the work, L’Enigme d’Isidore Ducasse, 1920, by Man Ray, in which Ray wrapped a sewing machine in a blanket and tied it with string, foreshadowing the conceptual movement. Artists like Rene Magritte and Christo/Jeanne Claude have successfully employed wrapping techniques as well.

While meaningful works often do not concern themselves with phenomenological pleasure, Bodzy’s do. Bodzy, though, is quick to say that she does not focus on “beauty” but on perception, attention and mystery. Yet her show traverses the line between conceptual and decorative art, making her pieces comfortable in a home or gallery space, especially since Bodzy knows color.

Viewing the exhibition, the folds in the sculptural skins reminded me of the viewer of the folds of the garments in a Bernini sculpture, vigorously emotive and alluring. At this fraught time, art that can remind us, even just a little, of the beauty we would see in a visit to Rome’s Borghese Museum is a gift worth unwrapping.

“Lesley Bodzy: Wrapping and Unveiling” runs virtually through

February 15, 2021 at Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY.

Jay Youngdahl
Independent Curator

Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts Gallery
Press Release for Folds of Desire


Thin and yet resistant veils of shiny gold conceal everyday disappointments. In this solo exhibition at  Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts in Houston, Lesley Bodzy explores the manifestation of specific fleeting  moments as they instigate a process of undoing requiring forgiveness but also reminding us never to forget. 

The works featured in ‘Folds of Desire’ emerge from the point at which language crumbles as we  attempt to grasp the meaning of our experiences, those unpredictably awkward social exchanges, and  unfulfilled hopes. The phone call that was never received, the explanation that was not provided, the  glance that wasn’t followed, the email that remained unanswered—our everyday lives are made up of  enigmatic and seemingly unimportant moments such as these. At times we shrug them off, at others,  we take a bit longer to pretend they didn’t hurt. But one after the other, these small personal  earthquakes reshape the emotional landscapes of our minds. Fleeting/causal moments that  nonetheless end up defining our personalities, our self-esteem, and our relationships with others define who we are. 


Skins, membranes, shrouds, veils—we gloss the hurt with veneers the world wants to see. Through  the manipulation of a range of materials, the works in ‘Folds of Desire’ attempt to visualize and process  what we have been taught to hide and render invisible.  


The works on show as part of this exhibition draw from surrealism as much as from the 1970s abstract  aesthetics developed by a host of female pioneer artists. Meret Oppenheim’s Object, (1936), in which  a teacup and saucer are wrapped in fur. Lynda Benglis’s late 70s gold, wall-mounted sculptural pieces, and the more contemporary remodeled cowhides by South African artist Nandipha Mntambo are only  some of the influences that Bodzy elegantly reworks into a personal aesthetic language that speaks  of overlooked and yet all-important moments in our lives. 


Wait…you will WANT to drive to this ‘Mixmaster’  
By Tracy O'Shaughnessey


Linda Matney Gallery
Artist interview


Houston’s Ultimate Art Stroll Takes Over Sawyer Yards Inside the City's Art Alley
By Matthew Ramirez / 04.24.19



"In Lesley Bodzy’s work, histories of fleeting and yet defining everyday traumas appear crystallized - finally visible and tangible, these psychological fragments can be acknowledged, confronted, and exorcised. Beautifully executed work with a deep, psychological dimension at its core."

Dr. Giovanni Aloi
Associate Professor and Author
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

"Lesley Bodzy has astounded us with her impressive skill and style. She has tenaciously explored new styles and mediums. Folds of Desire is composed of free-standing sculptures, wall pieces and installations. Each piece represents a moment or a period where the traditional utility of acrylic paint has been exhausted and thus transforms into a 3-dimensional object of observation and reflection. The predominant color gold is an eye wink to the Rococo period as an element of seduction. Pleats and undulations mimicking the folds of satin or skin create Folds of Desire."

Yvonamor Palix
Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts Gallery
Houston Heights, Texas 

"Wrapped and evocatively finished, Lesley Bodzy's luxe assemblages belie their material composition."

Sam Adams 
Art Historian and Koch Curatorial Fellow 
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

"Your work has a unique depth one doesn't often see."

Tess Lojacono 
Chief Executive Officer 
Fine Art Miracles, Inc. 
Pittsburgh, PA

"For the viewer, Bodzy’s works are thought-provoking. She traverses the line between conceptual and aesthetic art. Art that can pique our curiosity and remind us of beauty, is a gift worth unwrapping."

Jay Youngdahl 
Independent Curator

"Lesley Bodzy’s sculptures are made of unique materials. She applies pure paint to unconventional surfaces, like foam, aluminum, and plexiglass, offering a fresh perspective."

Robert Langdon 
Emerge Gallery 
Saugerties, NY

"Your gold feminist works are powerful and spark synesthetic feelings, sensations that are hard to put into words. I wish I could wear one like a cloak down a monumental corridor.”

D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem 
Associate Professor 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago