My most recent series, PAPER +Leaves, began in 2019 and utilizes a collection of pressed leaves from the ’20s and ’50s. In juxtaposing leaves to paper and plastic and collaging copies of newspaper clippings, I explore a wide range of topics from death, aging, interpersonal relationships, contamination of the environment and world affairs. [continued]
In each piece in the series, I use the leaf as a proxy for persons, animals or nature itself. Paper, which often masquerades as nature and life in my work is juxtaposed to actual leaves. Plastic continues to find its way into the paper/leaf dialogs as a reminder of its destructive role in the cycle of nature. Context of some pieces use copies of newspaper photos to remind us of the real-life consequences of what we put into nature.
THE DEVASTATION SERIES
A continuing thread runs through all my work in paper and it is that I have always pushed the boundaries for the tolerance paper shows in accepting mechanical, chemical and environmental applications. It is as though I was trying to prove that paper is suitable to be a stand-in for the human condition and our resilience to life’s forces and stresses. [continued]
In the Devastation Series, each weather condition not only looks like the natural disaster is happening in the landscape, but in most cases, the action of that weather condition has been used to distress the paper. I actually used techniques for treating the paper analogous to the forces of nature acting on the environment: sandblasting (Sand Storm), soaking the paper in water (Erosion), burning (Fire). This was predictive of today’s focus on the impact of extreme weather.
WALLS AND GRAFFITI SERIES
The Walls, described by Bleifer as an “Expression of the Urban Environment,” are logically far less reliant on figural or, for that matter, still-life subjects than her other work, old or new. But this series and its many subsets, realized by Bleifer throughout the 1980s and well into the ‘90s, is no less referent to the exterior world. [continued]
As in her figural work, Bleifer has given new life to the urban wall by recapitulating it in paper. Her approach is especially sculptural here, often incorporating gaps and intervening substances and structures so that dense webs of forcefully contrasting patterns and surfaces ultimately emerge.
Art Critic, Curator, Poet