ICA Speaks: Ellen Lesperance
ICA Miami welcomes Ellen Lesperance, whose exhibition “Amazonknights” is currently on view at the museum, to ICA Speaks.
Ellen Lesperance will discuss her engagement with feminist activism through her painting practice. Rendered in gouache on paper, the artist uses the visual language of universal knitting shorthand to document and potentially recreate historic garments worn by women activists, warriors, and cultural figures. For the past decade, one important focus of the artist’s work has been archiving protest knitwear worn by the separatist feminists of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp who demonstrated against U.S. nuclear weapons storage in Berkshire, England, from 1981 to 2000. In 2020, Lesperance published a book of this archive titled Velvet Fist. For ICA Speaks, Lesperance will discuss how this protest-based material culture influences her work and specifically how the paintings and knit sculptures in her solo exhibition “Amazonknights” relate to these histories.
Ellen Lesperance (b. 1971, Minneapolis) has had solo exhibitions at major institutions, including the Baltimore Museum of Art (2020); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2017); and Seattle Art Museum (2010). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2020); São Paulo Museum of Art (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2019); Brooklyn Museum (2018); and the New Museum, New York (2017), among others. Lesperance lives and works in Portland, Oregon.