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Item Name: Painting
Title: Self-conscious Romantic
Maker: Leesa Streifler
Year: 2008
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic on paper
Measurements: overall: 76 cm x 111.5 cm
ID Number: PC2008.5

Extended Label Info: Feminist theory has informed Leesa Streifler’s work throughout her artistic practice. Using the female body as a reference point, she investigates socially constructed notions of the feminine by reinterpreting and challenging traditional portrayals of the female body. In Streifler’s paintings, there is a play between figure and ground in each work where images overlap and fragment, seemingly disappearing into or emerging out of the painted surfaces. Some figures are reduced to a series of lines, drawings in paint, while others are cropped or abstracted, existing as heads without bodies, bodies without limbs. This is seen in Self-conscious Romantic in which the figure appears to be dissolving into the background, distorting their face and features. Streifler’s interpretations of the body often incite vulnerability and insecurity and while being relatable and honest. Leesa Streifler (1957- ) was born in Winnipeg. She earned a BFA Honours from the University of Manitoba (1980). Moving to New York City, Streifler earned her MFA from Hunter College, at NYU (1983). In 1986, Streifler returned to Canada to work as a Professor of drawing and painting at the University of Regina in Visual Arts. Streifler’s research focused on contemporary explorations in painting, drawing, text, and photography. A strong feminist, her work investigates the impact of social and cultural beliefs and practices on women’s identity. Her subject matter is the body in all its stages: the pregnant body, the aging body, the domesticated body, the irregular body, and the body in costume. She has also created work on interspecies communication, familial relationships, and aging. Retiring in 2019, Streifler returned to her studio practice in Winnipeg. Streifler’s artwork has exhibited internationally and is included in major public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank and the National Gallery of Canada.