Amanda Lenox has been selected along with 40 other artists to participate in Denise Bibro’s fourth iteration of Art From the Boros. Amanda and her cohort were among the finalist of hundreds of submissions and earlier this summer Denise Bibro visited each of their studios. The impetus for the show is refreshingly simple: Art From the Boros exemplifies the eclectic artistic community of New York City, showing a varied range of genres of art and mediums.
Lenox is an artist whose influences include the painter Alice Neel (b1900- d1984) among others. Neel left the insular downtown Greenwich artist enclave and headed to Harlem in the 1930s, before heading on to the Upper West Side and “rejoining” the New York art world. She painted everyday folks, politicians, and other artists. Working with oil and graphite, Lenox is the kind of person who imbues others with goodness. She leaves a wisp of swirling air where ever she has been, she is outwardly positive and optimistic. While it is true that what we present outwardly is only after an inner-dialogue, and once we delve a little into her history you’ll understand that it is an expression I will say is authentic and therefore trustworthy.
Although formal visual art instruction for her concluded with two years of Advanced Placement art courses in High School, she never stopped creating. The creative expression that was nurtured predominantly in her adolescence is dance, which she studied and performed intensely since the age of two and went on to travel nationally. She left her home in Dallas, Texas to attend University of the Arts in Philadelphia, graduating with a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Education.Soon after she joined the acclaimed Roni Koresh Dance Company, and guest performed with Moses Pendleton’s award winning Momix company.
Lenox is a force, one might say. In order to fund her traveling with Koresh, she began making art to donate to company benefits so that she could travel with them. At that point she thought “oh look at me able to fund my trips” without knowing where she would end up mentally, creating art.
Her work reflects a strong communicative aspect of dance. The body is essential, in shape and form, a line able to express the entire range of emotion through movement. Her relationship to the communicative aspect of the line is evident in her work. With bold expressive blind contouring portraits, the brow of a man expressing worry or concern, patterns reflecting moods of dark and lightness, Amanda reveals the inner workings of unconscious mind.
After graduating and performing, Miss Lenox entered into the world of dance professorship but to continue on that path as a career she needed to obtain a Masters Degree. She chose Mental Health and is on her way to becoming certified in psychoanalysis, adding a dynamic expressionist dialogue to her work. She says that her body of work has completely shifted since beginning at The Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis, where she now serves as Chair of the institute’s Arts and Culture committee.
Just like therapy which guides to a wider range of emotion so too has her work become more expressive. “I used to create pieces that were very unhappy, distorted, broken people.” Over the course of six years of weekly training as a therapist, Amanda feels that her work has shifted. “I have seen my work become less distorted, flat, more recognizable faces that are happy and curious as well; I’ve gained access to that wider range.”
When pushed further Amanda describes the evolution of her body of work, “It’s like seeing it as a sounding board for mental health, (my work) is important for visual/factual. To have sight of enables one to believe it. If you look at the whole of my work, you may not see one thread but each person is really strong with a wide range of emotions.
These are people that aren’t easily conquered, they are emblems of persons that I think are sturdy. But this is not to say that they don’t have their own issues to deal with. Many of my subjects are people who are open minded, standing on their own two; confident people, available to the process of reconciliation, which is a goal of therapy.”
As a tool for creating dialogue, she views art as a safe way to begin talking. “Art has lasted throughout the entire span of humanity precisely because it is safe. The number one cause of pathology is the unspoken.” The things that need to be said, but are not said.
Art From The Boros IV