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Article: In the Studio | Lisa Dengler

In the Studio | Lisa Dengler - Tappan
In the Studio

In the Studio | Lisa Dengler

From her studio in Mexico City, multidisciplinary artist Lisa Dengler looks at creation as meditation and utilizes her background in design and architecture to create works that explore her experience as a woman.

 

TAPPAN

Tell us about this body of work launching on Tappan.

LISA DENGLER

This series is all about experiences. The paintings themselves are like blueprints of a memory, and all the moments and experiences leading up to it. With my sculptures I like having a dialog about the female experience and the female from from the female gaze. There’s something so beautiful yet painful about being a woman and yet I wouldn’t change it for the world.

TAPPAN

Describe your work in three words:

LISA DENGLER

Intuitive, Emotional, Material.

TAPPAN

What is your creation process like, how are you conceptualizing and thinking about each of these pieces?

LISA DENGLER

I’m in my head a lot, I’m not sure if it’s an occupational hazard or where it comes from, but I do love conceptualizing. These concepts I mostly have for future gallery shows (and are collected over several notes on my phone), as the experience can be completely controlled in that environment. I may have some vague ideas about specific pieces I want to make, but once I start making them, my mind goes blank and the body takes over. Like a form of meditation. It’s very intuitive, and once I’m out of that state, I step back and observe from an almost neutral standpoint, and then keep going if a piece doesn’t feel finished. Sometimes something can be done in one sitting, or sometimes it takes months.

TAPPAN

Would you say you have a studio philosophy?

LISA DENGLER

My studio is my safe space. There’s no judgment on myself or what I create. I think it helps to experiment which puts less pressure on creating a perfect finished piece.

TAPPAN

Regarding your method of making, is it a case of the material or method dictating the idea of the other way around?

LISA DENGLER

The material and method most definitely dictates what I create. Maybe it’s this formula that allows me to abstract something while still having a sense of control and allow myself to be a little methodic. If there were no structure, my emotional mind perhaps wouldn’t be able to reach its meditative state as easily and thus, be able to let go.

TAPPAN

What’s the first thing you do when you begin formulating an idea for a piece?

LISA DENGLER

Think about materials probably. If it’s a sculpture, sometimes I’ll play with forms in clay, or if it’s 2D, get out some paper and just start exploring.

Lisa Dengler says:

“I’m in my head a lot, I’m not sure if it’s an occupational hazard or where it comes from, but I do love conceptualizing.”

Lisa Dengler
Lisa Dengler

TAPPAN

Tell us about an artist whose career you admire.

LISA DENGLER

Agnes Martin. She explored and explored until the found her style, and she got rid of everything leading up to that point. Actually destroyed it. And then she stuck with her signature grid paintings for the rest of her career. I find that dedication to be very admirable. Meanwhile, I have boxes of terrible art experiments sitting in a storage unit somewhere in Brooklyn, and continue to experiment on a daily basis.

TAPPAN

If you could have a drink with one artist, who would it be?

LISA DENGLER

Barbara Hepworth

TAPPAN

What is the arts community like in your city? Do you spend your time around other creatives?

LISA DENGLER

I moved to Mexico City in large part due to the art scene and artist community. There’s a lot of people making really exciting things in different materials. There’s also a lot of really great furniture and object design, something which inspires me a lot in my work, because it’s also coming from the angle of functionality.

TAPPAN

If you could travel anywhere to create for a while, where would you go?

LISA DENGLER

That’s a hard question for me, because I love traveling and I love creating. I end up falling in love with anywhere I go. Earlier this year it was Mallorca where I stayed an extra month, and a few weeks ago, Joshua Tree, and I started daydreaming about building a house and studio there. But, I will say Turkey as they seem to have a lot of beautiful stone and I’ve never been. I’ve also always wanted to spend more time in Japan.

TAPPAN

What are your other hobbies?

LISA DENGLER

I love traveling and being in nature - hiking, camping, etc. And I don’t think I could survive without art books. And recently I’ve enjoyed making flower arrangements.

Lisa Dengler
Lisa Dengler

TAPPAN

What influences you?

LISA DENGLER

Hardworking, passionate, and motivated individuals

TAPPAN

What motivates you?

LISA DENGLER

Seeing good art

TAPPAN

Silence or sound while creating? If sound, what?

LISA DENGLER

Definitely music, I’m never not listening to music. I make playlists based on moods, but my studio music ends up being more background noise than anything else. But I will say I tend towards the melancholy.

TAPPAN

Tools or mediums you’re dying to experiment with?

LISA DENGLER

Casting metal! I love metal so much, this is a huge dream of mine and am hoping it’s something I can make a reality in the next few years.

TAPPAN

Best gift you’ve ever received?

LISA DENGLER

A month of stone carving classes. Without that I don’t think I would have found this path, or at least, it would have taken me longer to get here.

TAPPAN

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

LISA DENGLER

Moving to New York the same day I handed in my final university project. No job, no friends, just a dream and the passion to make it work.

TAPPAN

What is one artist living or dead you feel a great connection to? Someone whose work has inspired your own practice and what you’re creating these days?

LISA DENGLER

Eva Hesse. I love how she would create and experiment with different materials. She’s very playful with her sculptures, and they command a room without needing to be materially “expensive”. It’s something I’m still learning to come to terms with in myself, but I know I will get there.

TAPPAN

What’s next?

LISA DENGLER

As I’m writing this...Austin, Terlingua (for a short artist residency), New York, London, Toronto, then to a beach in Mexico, Oaxaca City, back home for a few weeks, Portland, LLISA DENGLER...and this is all in a span of just over two months. I’m exhausted thinking about it. But also excited. It will be a period of exploration.




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