Representations of historically marginalized people across the media, the arts, and society tend to be few and far between — a resounding absence that the artist, writer, and curator Riva Lehrer has spent her artistic practice rectifying. Building on her own experiences, Lehrer’s bodies of work are informed by the rich disability and LGBTQIA+ communities to which she belongs while steeped in the art historical tradition of portraiture. Her work exemplifies a virtuousity and talent for portraiture, while asserting the importance of representation of people who have been historically stigmatized for their physical embodiment, sexuality, or gender identity.
Working at the intersection of the medical humanities and the arts, Lehrer occupies a unique position threading disparate academic disciplines to upend notions of disability, impairment, beauty, and the range of experiences that make us human.
Lehrer joins Hirshhorn assistant curator Sandy Guttman to explore the intersection of art and representation through her powerful portraits and to discuss and read from her 2020 memoir, Golem Girl.