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Item Name: photograph
Title: In Extremis
Maker: Leesa Streifler
Year: 1992
Materials: prismacolor and acrylic on dyed gelatin silverprint
Measurements: 79 x 53"
ID Number: PC2020.8
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Leesa Streifler uses painting, drawing, text and photography to explore often intense emotional and psychological experiences and relationships, creating imagery that discusses internal realities. These four large-scale works are part of a series of twelve entitled, “In Extremis”, a term that refers to being in an extremely difficult position, at the point of death. Shown initially at Mackenzie Art Gallery (1992), the series explores the vulnerability and fragility of life through images taken at the hospital, the natural history museum, the taxidermy shop and the zoo. To create these artworks, Streifler began with fibre-based photographs printed on an extremely large scale and dyed in jewel-like colours. She reworked the surface of each photograph with stamp pad ink, vinyl lettering, acrylic paint, and drawings in Prismacolor pigment sticks. Streifler states that in her work, “what lies under the surface is more real than what’s on top, so the drawings or the expressive elements dig deeper into the psychological, the holistic, the spiritual and the political.”(Contained, 2003) 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.