I am a sculptor and painter working in New York City and Houston. My body of work explores the ways in which materiality can give form and visibility to psychologically complex dimensions. Trauma, loss, and desire are recurring themes I approach through material processes as I devise a personal metaphorical language. My work is biographical in essence but my aesthetic language allows viewers to find their place among the bare narrative outlines that hold each piece together. My projects often involve series through which a loose narrative can be traced. Each takes on various forms intended to position the viewer as a witness as well as a co-author, creates new and unpredictable cycles of thoughts and associations, and provides an experimental opportunity to challenge one’s assumptions and perspectives.
I use acrylic paint as a sculptural material. After pouring it out on plastic sheeting, I treat it with chemicals that allow me to manipulate, drape, rearrange and layer it. My practice is steeped in a genuine passion for materials and their expressive potential. I often let materials guide me through the creative process. Their malleability and resistance point me towards a subject that emerges as part of a meditative concentration—a tactile and open-ended dialogue that often results in a deeper reflection and comprehension of personal struggles. Manipulating, rearranging, and layering become gestural statements I perform to process events from the past and exorcise, through the material presence of the finished piece, their impact on the present.
The aesthetics that characterize my work are in part informed by the sculptural abstractism of the 1970s—especially the work of female pioneers like Lynda Benglis, Lynn Umlauf, and Merrill Wagner, artists that have been strong influences in my research. As a result of these influences, in my relationship with materials, I favor open form and ambiguities, privileging aesthetic solutions that gesture towards the imperfect and incomplete.
My minimalist aesthetics are often counterpointed by bold colors that dramatize each piece in order to attract the viewer’s attention to what is often concealed or barely perceptible in our lives. Much of my practice thus revolves around the notion of monumentalizing the ephemeral through the creation of an idiosyncratic aesthetic language. It is in this context that my work can be seen to have a psychoanalytical/introspective edge. Some of my works are opportunities to reconsider “hard to come to terms with” circumstances, dramatic events, or fleeting/causal moments that nonetheless end up defining our personalities, our self-esteem, and our relationships with others.
I hold an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and have studied at Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, and the Art Students League of New York. My work is represented by galleries in Saugerties, NY, Houston, TX, Williamsburg, VA, and Jersey City, NJ and it has been exhibited widely across the United States and abroad. Recent shows include ChaShaMa and Sculptors Alliance in New York City. I also recently exhibited a selection of my work at Holy Art Gallery in London, UK, Site:Brooklyn, Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA, and the Meadows Gallery in Tyler, TX.
Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Mana Decentralized Art, Jersey City, NJ
Linda Matney Gallery, Williamsburg, VA
Two Person Exhibitions
2022 Folds of Desire, curated by Yvonamor Palix, Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts at Artique Gallery, Houston, TX
2021 Lesley Bodzy, curated by Evelyn Tsekoura, Holy Art Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios, London, UK
2021 Choose & Frame: Watercolors by Lesley Bodzy, curated by Yvonamor Palix, Palix Fine Arts, Houston, TX
2020 Lesley Bodzy: Absence and Presence, curated by John Lee Matney, Linda Matney Gallery, Williamsburg, VA
2020 Lesley Bodzy: Plexiglass Works, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Lesley Bodzy: Wrapping and Unveiling, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2021 Golden Desire, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2018-19 Two Person Exhibition, Lincoln Towers, New York, NY
2022 Valentine, curated by John Holt, Incubator Studio Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
2022 Contemporary Color, curated by Chloe Wyma , Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn NY
2022 Best In Show, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2022 Art Celebrates the Story, curated by Cheri Randolph, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
2021 ChaShaMa: Fire and Ice, curated by Alexandra Rutsch Brock, One Brooklyn Place Park Gallery, Brooklyn NY
2021 Art Over Time, curated by Charlotta Kotik, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY
2021 Exhibition 2021, Flatfile Gallery, New york, NY
2021 8 x 8 Season 3, Flatfile Gallery, New York, NY
2021 Viridian Gallery Exhibition, curated by Susan Harris, New York, NY
2021 Facade, curated by Erika Hess, Arts to Hearts Project, New Delhi, India
2021 The Dreamers, curated by Evelyn Tsekoura, Holy Art Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios, London, UK (3rd Place)
2021 Petit: Smaller Sized Art, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2021 The Next Big Thing 2021, curated by Peter Mays, Studio Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA
2021 Art House Sawyer Yards-Artist Installation, curated by Grace Zuniga, Sawyer Yards, Houston, TX
2021 6th Annual Waterscapes Exhibition, curated by Chris & Valerie Hoffman, Fusion Arts, LLC, Palm Springs, CA
2021 Graffiti – Art in the City, curated by Sara Ledbetter, The Garden Club of Houston, Houston, TX
2021 Mixmaster: Juried Members Exhibition, curated by Leslie Garrett, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT
2021 Catch Phrase, curated by Kristen Kendrick Bigley, CoLab Gallery, Denton, TX
2021 Something Blue, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Creating Joy, curated by Melissa Feldman, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2020 small works – BIG TALENT, curated by Lori McBride, Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2020 Spirit of the Season Small Works Exhibition, curated by Nikki Hung, Womens Work.Art, Poughkeepsie, NY
2020 5th Anniversary Art Competition, Fusion Art, Palm Springs, CA
2020 Fact vs. Fiction, curated by Sam Adams, Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA
2020 Little By Little, curated by Andy Burgess, Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ
2020 Water Media National Exhibition, curated by Christine Lucas, Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary, Dallas, TX
2020 re. fresh., curated by Kristen Kendrick Bigley, CoLab Gallery, Denton, TX
2020 Primar(il)y Red, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Petit: Smaller Sized Art, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Orange Juiced, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 In Black and White, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Isolation, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 The Next Big Thing, curated by Leah Ollman, Channel Islands Art Studios, Camarillo, CA
2020 Aptitude, curated by Robyn Parker Feehan, the gallery 8680, Frisco, TX
2020 4th Annual Skies Exhibition, curated by Valerie and Chris Hoffman, Palm Springs, CA
2020 Abstrakt, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 “Flight Of The Monarch” International Art Biennial, Houston, TX
2020 Art and Words, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2020 Five Points Annex Small Works Exhibition, curated by Power Booth, Five Points Annex Gallery, Torrington, CT
2020 Paris Rive Gauche *Three Person Exhibition, Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts, Houston, TX
2020 University of Texas Meadows Gallery International Exhibition, curated by Leslie Moody Castro, Tyler, TX
2020 Purple, Gold, and White: Reflections on Women’s Suffrage, Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas, TX
2020 Discovering Repeating Patterns Exhibition, Sawyer Yards, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
2020 Gesture and Motion, curated by Margaret Carrigan, Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
2020 Blue Mountain Gallery Exhibition, curated by Martica Sawin, Blue Mountain Gallery, New York, NY
2020 Art On The Wall, Flatfile Gallery, New York, NY2020 8 x 8 on paper, Flatfile Gallery, New York, NY
2020 Skies, Grey Cube Gallery, New York, NY HONORABLE MENTION
2020 New York State of Mind Small Works Exhibition, insidesmall.com, New York, NY
2020 ChaShaMa: Art We Need Now, curated by Allison Green, One Brooklyn Place Park Gallery, Brooklyn NY
2020 Flux: Vita Mutata, curated by Natsuki Takauji, Sculptors Alliance, New York, NY
2019 Small and Smaller Exhibition, curated by Heather Darcy Bhandari, Site:Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
2019 Small Works Show, curated by Anna Shukeylo, Gallery 178 at Cornerstone Studios, New York, NY
2019 Tenth Annual Small Works Exhibition, Manhattan Borough President's Office, New York, NY
2019 Bianco: Art Celebrating White, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2019 Primar(il)y Red: Celebrating The Color Red, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2019 Petit: A Group Exhibition Of Smaller Sized Art, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2019 Unique Medium Exhibition, curated by Sylvia Diaz, Art JuXtapose Gallery, Rosendale, NY
2019 Steam: Math and Art Exhibition, curated by Lucas Kelly, West Windsor Arts Council, Princeton Junction, NJ
2019 Terrain: A Group Exhibition of Landscape Art, curated by Robert Langdon, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2019 The Shape of Memories, curated by Arianne Faber Kolb, Loft Artists Gallery, Stamford, CT
2019 Sense Of Place: There, Galaudet Gallery, Eau Claire, WI
2019 Discovery: 13 Emerging Artists of 2019, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, NY
2019 La Bienal Houston, curated by Eduardo Portillo, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
2019 Guild Hall 81st Artist Members Exhibition, East Hampton, NY
2019 Landscapes: Observed & Interpreted, curated by Ananda DeMello, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
2019 Neoteric Abstract VII Exhibition, Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY
2019 Five Points Small Works Exhibition, curated by Brigid Kennedy, Five Points Annex Gallery, Torrington, CT
2019 Mattatuck Museum, Mixmaster Exhibition, curated by Ashley Dillman, Waterbury, CT
2018 Petit: A Group Exhibition, curated by Robert Lang, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY
2018 Embodying Masonic Values, Masonic Temple and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2018 Coast to Coast Exhibition, curated by Kay Carlson, Marin Society of Artists, San Rafael, CA
2018 Waterfront Exhibition, Manhattan Borough President's Office, New York, NY
2018 True Independence Group Exhibition, Lucille Khornak Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
2018 Mattatuck Museum, Mixmaster Exhibition, curated by Sara Shaoul, Waterbury, CT
2018 Ninth Annual Small Works Exhibition, Manhattan Borough President's Office, New York, NY
2018 National Show at Prince Street Gallery, curated by Robert Birmelin, New York, NY
2018 All Art + Exhibition, Van Der Plas Gallery, New York, NY
2017 National Show at Prince Street Gallery, curated by Stuart Shils, New York, NY
2017 Celeste Prize 2017 Competition, 9th Edition, Longlisted (Honorable Mention), London, UK
2017 Celebrate! National Exhibition, curated by Donna Seager, Arts Guild of Sonoma, Sonoma, CA
2017 City Views Exhibition, Manhattan Borough President's Office, New York, NY
2017 New York Artists Exhibition, Chaffetz Lindsey, New York, NY
2017 The Big Show 2017, curated by Toby Kamps, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX
2015 Four Artists Exhibition, Conference Center, New York, NY
Chaffetz Lindsey Law Firm LLP, New York, NY
Mond at the Museums Residences, Houston, Texas
Private collections in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg, Germany
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA, 2021
Hunter College Studio Art, Studied with Gabriele Evertz, Robert Swain and Valerie Jaudon, New York, NY
Mount Holyoke College, BA, South Hadley, MA
All She Makes, Issue 4
Curated by Christina Massey of WoArt Blog
"Texture and Storytelling. Flipping through a magazine is a different experience than scrolling through a website or strolling through a gallery. We linger on a page longer than in a digital realm, and engage with the mark making and narrative behind the work in a more intimate way in a sense than in a gallery. We are on our own terfs learning and absorbing the images rather than out, distracted by our phones and social pressures to document our being there. With a magazine, we can ponder and take our time.
I found myself taking this into consideration in the selections from artists. Works that were heavily textural, popping off the page in a sense, grabbing our attention in their unique uses of materials and form, but also the mark making, color choices and narratives behind the artists choices in imagery and depictions. While the selected works range from realistic figurative and urban landscapes to geometric and organic abstraction, there is a connective thread through their aesthetic attention to detail, expertise in their mediums and impact of their intentions and purpose behind their work."
WoArt features and promotes the work of exceptional female identifying artists founded by artist and curator Christina Massey. Her curatorial exhibitions have been at such venues as the Pelham Art Center in Pelham, NY, Cluster Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, City Without Walls Gallery in Newark, NJ, Hunterdon Art Museum in Clifton, NJ, the ISE Foundation in New York, NY and the BioBAT Art Space in Brooklyn, NY. Artists she has worked with early in their careers have gone on to win such prestigious awards as the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchel Foundation Grant and the Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2021 to be able to provide additional services and address the growing and changing needs in supporting living artists, WoArt has also begun showcasing work through thematic online exhibitions.
Massey is also the founder and creator of the USPS Art Project, an initiative created during the pandemic encouraging art collaborations in support of the postal system. Over 1000 artists participated in the project, and over 4000 artworks were created. The project exhibited and traveled around the country showing 6 different states and was featured in such publications as ArtNet News, Vasari21 and ABC News.
Review Of Wrapping And Unveiling
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.
Her work can also be seen in this virtual gallery