GIVING UP GIVING INNOV–23
ink and tempera on canvas
228 cm x 245 cm
exhibited at The Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery, New York
"Mariella Lehner reimagines Sir John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia” (1851-2) by showing an enlargement of her face, almost submerged in liquid and covered with lantern flies, which are considered an “invasive species” in North America. These insects symbolize the tension between intrusion and belonging, resistance and resignation, persistence and acceptance. The title suggests a state of flux, leaving it unclear whether the figure is undergoing a transformative process or facing impending demise. In their most recent works, Lehner addresses the collective grief we share over the gradual decline of our environment as we know it today-a profound sorrow that goes far beyond the mourning of an individual being."