Mira Lehr

  • MIRA LEHR Biography


    Mira Lehr was born in New York but has lived most of her life in Miami. She is a graduate of Vassar College and has studied painting with Robert Motherwell, James Brooks, Roberto Juarez, and James and Nieves Billmyer (long time students of Hans Hofmann.) She participated with Buckminster Fuller on the first World Game Scenario Project at the New York Studio School.

    Lehr is represented by galleries in New York, Florida, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. Her work is featured in the permanent collection at the Miami Art Museum. In 2008 her oral history conducted by Irving Sandler was included in the archives of the Getty Museum and Research Center in Los Angeles and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. She is also featured in the book, “Miami Contemporary Artists” published by Schiffer Publishers in 2007 and was juried into the “New American Paintings Exhibition in Print” by Charlotta Kotik, curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum.

    In addition to numerous private and public collections, Lehr’s paintings were recently included in the collection of the GenSpring Family Offices and a major work, Cosmic Energy, was recently purchased by Sloan Kettering Memorial Center in New York. Lehr has also been chosen by the Art in Embassies program to exhibit her work in the American Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria from 2008-2010. Rugs based on Lehr’s designs and produced by Stephanie Odegard in Nepal can be seen throughout the world in many private and public collections.

    Lehr has been described as a visual poet. She uses nature based images to explore the possibilities of painterly experiments. The subtle color harmonies combined with veils of Japanese paper contrast with the expressionistic splashes, drips, and fluidity of the grounds. The tensions balanced between the abstract and the illusion, the hidden and the revealed, the hard edged and the soft focus all add to the mystery and the resonance of the work.

    Lehr’s work has continued to evolve; gunpowder and fuses have become a more significant part of both the process and the final product. The new works, particularly Frozen in the Fire and Sulfur and Ice prominently display the line left behind by the fuse – a line that departs from Lehr’s earlier work somewhat through its simplicity and muted color palette – that still ties itself to her oeuvre through its organic shape and the use of her signature of burnt paper. Tropic of Capricorn acts as a bridge between these two types of works – those that feature the simplicity of the fuse and her more layered works that express her continued interest in the mysteries and beauties of nature.

    As an element, fire is used in her work to engage the viewer – its connection to the active nature of burning brings to mind the active in the viewer. Make no mistake – this is a controlled burn. Though the work may have changed, the formal elements of artwork are as important as they always have been. The space between the forms and the shapes these spaces make are taken into account throughout the process and are a significant part of the final product.



    2011            Burnt Offerings, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, NY.

    2010            New Work, Sanford Smith Fine Art, Great Barrington, MA. June-July 2010.

    2010            Fire and Heat by Three, The Bascom Visual Art Center, Highlands, NC. September 2010.

    2010    Artful Explosions, Guthrie Contemporary Art, New Orleans, Louisiana

    2009            New Works, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, NY

    2009            Synergies, Rohm Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana

    2008            Tanglewood, Sanford Smith Fine Art, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

    2008     GenSpring Family Offices, Grand Opening, Sarasota, Florida

    2007            Dreamscapes, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, New York

    2006              Modern Masters of Tapestry, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida

    2006            Mira Lehr for Odegard, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York

    2006            Between the Meadow and the Moon, Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida

    2005            Mira Lehr for Odegard, Paradeisos, Celebrating Art Basel, Miami, Florida

    2005            Moon and Bellflower Variations, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, New York

    2003            World Game: Celebrating Art Basel, Odegard, Miami, Florida

    2003            Affinities with the East, Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida
    1997            New Work, Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
    1997            Icarus, Continuum Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
    1996            Past and Present, Continuum Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
    1995            Orientations, Continuum Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
    1993            Sources, Continuum Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
    1991            Night Paintings, Gloria Luria Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida



    2011     Texas National 17th Annual Competition & Exhibition, Austin State University,

    Nacogdoches, Texas

    2011            60th All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Fl

    2010            10th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition,Thomas Center Galleries, Gainsville,FL.

    2010            Texas National 2010.The Cole Art Center, Nacogdoches, TX

    2010            National Open Small Works, N.A.W.A. Gallery, New York, NY

    2010            Navel Gazing: Artists Visions of Florida, Brevard Museum of Art, Melbourne, FL

    2010            Without a Trace: Artist Imagine a World Without Us, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Florida

    2009-10 Faces of Freedom, Miami International Airport, Miami, FL

    2009            Flomenhaft Salon 2009, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, NY

    2009            Art on Paper, The Armory, New York, New York

    2008            Art 20, The Armory, New York, New York

    2008-10 Art in Embassies, The American Embassy, Sofia, Bulgaria

    2008            Preview, Rohm Gallery, New Orleans, LA

    2008            In the Eye of the Beholder, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL

    2007            New American Paintings Juried Exhibitions in Print, Juried by Charlotta Kotik, Brooklyn Museum

    2007 Silent Art Auction to benefit the RugMark Foundation, Odegard, Miami, Florida

    2006            Art Loves Design, Art Basel, Holly Hunt, Miami, Florida

    2006               Our Gang, Flomenhaft Gallery, New York, New York

    2006            The Continuum Gallery Continues, Futernick Art Gallery, Miami, Florida

    2006            Art Palm Beach 3, Palm Beach, Florida

    2004            Holiday Salon, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA

    2004            FLOW: The Art Show, Oct. 7, 2004-January 6, 2005, entry titled “Man of War,” SunTrust Plaza Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia

    2004            It’s for the Birds, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida

    2004            Legal Art: Books and Sculptures on the Theme of Law, silent auction, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Florida

    2003            Turning Pages:  Celebrating South Florida Artist-Made Books, Miami-Dade

    Community College, Miami, Florida

    Travels to:

    • Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, Broward County Main Library, Ft. Lauderdale, Florid,
    • Arthur and Mata Jaffe Collection of Books as Aesthetic Objects, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida

    2002            Recent Works of the Continuum Artists, Frances Wolfson Gallery, Miami Dade

    Community College, Miami, Florida

    2002      Second Annual Juried Living Room Show:  Celebrating Art Basel, The Living Room, Miami, Florida

    1996            Birds, Center Gallery, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
    1995            Small Works, Bianca Lanza Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
    1994            Paintings After Nature, 6 Artists Miami-New York, Museum of Contemporary Art,

    North Miami, Florida

    1993            103rd Annual Exhibition of the National Association of Women Artists, Jacob Javits

    Center, New York, New York
    Women’s Caucus for Art Invitational, Broward Community College, Fort Lauderdale,            Florida
    1991            53rd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, The Society for the

    Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida

    1990            Florida Invitational, Gloria Luria Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
    52nd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, The Society for the

    Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida
    Florida Artists, Gloria Luria Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
    Hortt Exhibition, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Nada, The Cuban Museum, Miami, Florida
    1989            Ceramics as Surface, Tavelli Gallery, Aspen, Colorado
    The Way of the Woman Artist, Art and Culture Center, Hollywood, Florida
    1988            99th Annual Exhibition of the National Association of Women Artists, Jacob Javits

    Center, New York, New York
    Thomas Center Biennial, Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville, Florida
    The Capitol Gallery Exhibition, Capitol Gallery, Tallahassee, Florida
    1987             49th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, The Society of the Four

    Arts, Palm Beach, Florida
    98th Annual Exhibition of the National Association of Women Artists, Jacob Javits

    Center, New York, New York
    Biennial Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
    1986            Works on Paper National Exhibition, University Gallery, University of Texas, Tyler,

    Hortt Exhibition, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Women’s History, Gallery at 24, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida
    Thomas Center Biennial, Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville, Florida
    1984            A Century of Women’s Achievements, Women’s Pavilion, Louisiana World’s Fair,

    New Orleans, Louisiana

    Women’s Caucus for Art Travels, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    46th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings, The Society of the Four Arts, Palm    Beach, Florida

    1969      World Game Scenario, Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, New York,

    Collaborator and research for Buckminster Fuller’s first scenario



    • Woman and Tree: A Tanglewood Story, 2010
    • Barter, Judith. American Modernism at the Art Institute of Chicago. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn. 2009
    • Heartney Eleanor. Mira Lehr Biography.
    • Cover Image Poets on the Psalms ,Trinity University Press, 2008
    • Miami Contemporary Artists, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen,Pennsylvania 2007
    • Artist in Residence, Flying Horse Editions, Orlando, Florida, 2007
    • Featured Artist, New American Paintings, The Open Studio Press, New York, NY 2007


    • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, B. A. Art History
    • The Boston Museum School, Massachusetts.
    • Robert Motherwell, painting
    • James Brooks, painting
    • Nieves and James Billmyer, annual workshops


    • Tuite, Rebecca C. Vassar Style: Fashion, Feminism and 1950s American Media, 2011 (includes an interview with the artist about her personal style and philosophy)
    • Grovier, Kelly. “Gums and Gothic” Times Literary Supplement. Nov 5, 2010, p. 9
    • Smoky Mountain News. “Bold art featured in ‘Fire and Heat by Three’”, At the Bascom Visual Arts Center. September 8, 2010.
    • Mira Lehr, Biography by Eleanor Heartney, to be published 2011
    • ART news, ‘Salon 2009’ by Mona Molarsky, p.129, Summer, 2009
    • Mira Lehr Oral History Interview Conducted by Irving Sandler, For the archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C, December 6 & 7, 2007
    • Mira Lehr Oral History Interview Conducted by Irving Sandler, For the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, December 6 & 7, 2007
    • ARTNews “Jungle of Mystics”, September 2007, p. 53
    • Art in America “Dreamscapes” September 2007, p. 66
    • Cantor, Melissa, “A Painter’s Eye” Miami Herald: Home & Design, September 2007, p. 53
    • Cohen, David, “Art Starts on September 6,” The New York Sun , August 31, 2007, p. 1
    • New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition-in-Print, Vol. 70. 2007. The Open Studios Press, Boston, MA.
    • Davidow, Jullie and Clemence, Paul, Contemporary Miami Artists, Schiffer Publishing, 2007
    • Henry, Saxon, “Art Basel Miami: So Many Affairs, So Little Time,” Art Info Magazine, December 12, 2006
    • Casa Mia Décor, Dessie’ Magazine, November 2006, Milan, Italy, p 24-25
    • Florida International Magazine, All About Art, FIM Florida Artists Hall of Fame,” November 2006 Vol. 09.11 p 104
    • Culture and Travel, September/October 2006, Volume 1, Number 1, p. 14
    • The New York Times Magazine, September 24, 2006/ Section 6, Art and Culture p. 4 & 5
    • Turner, Elisa, “Bass unfurls a thoroughly modern exhibit of tapestries,” The Miami Herald, September 24, 2006,  Tropical Life
    • Russell, Candice, “Rugs and Paintings,” Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, September 2, 2006,  Lifestyle section
    • Curtiss, Courtney Powers, “Mira Lehr Visual Imprints” Florida Design’s Miami Home & Décor, Spring/Summer 2006 p.179-186
    • Jaffe, Tali, InsideOut, Magazine, “An Artist’s Retreat,”  May 2006 p.120-125
    • Art In America, “Jersey” and  “Sea,” May 2006 p. 90, 97
    • Colon, Yahnilet, “Woman’s Art Shines for Decades”, The Miami Herald, May 11, 2006 p.8
    • Stieglitz, Sheila, “The Continuum continues with art exhibition at JCC,” Palmetto Bay News, May 2-8, 2006 p.2
    • Turner, Elisa, “Critic’s Pick,” Miami Herald, May 5, 2006, weekend section p.32
    • “The AI Eye: Editor’s Picks of Art for Sale,” Photo Gallery, April 12, 2006, p.2
    • Russell, Candice, “Abstract artist seeks ‘spiritual landscape’,” Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, April 8, 2006 p. C1
    • “Mira Lehr, l’ultima collezione,” Home, April 2006, p. 17
    • “Enchanted April, Market Scout,” Elements of Living, April 2006, p.33
    • Henry, Saxon, “Designs on Life,” Distinction Magazine, New York, April 2006, p.167
    • Henry, Saxon, “Mira Lehr,” Home& Design, The Miami Herald, March 2006, p.26
    • Pritchett, Kathryn Loosli, “Things Elemental”, Contra Costa Times, February 11, 2006
    • Catalogue- Nieves Billmyer. Woudrichem Towers Exhibition. From The Jan Verhoeven Collection. 28 May-June 2005, pp 19-21.
    • Cullum, Jerry, “Wonders in a Wet World,” AccessAtlanta, November 4, 200,4 p. 20
    • Making an Intercontinental Connection,” Florida Design, Vol. 14, No. ,3 p. 283
    • Russell, Candice, “The Flap About Birds,” The Sun Sentinel, July 18, 2004
    • It’s for the Birds: A Group Invitational Traveling Exhibition, catalogue, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 2004.
    • Florida Design, ”Mira Lehr:  Visual Imprints — Earthly and Botanical, the Artist’s Paintings Blur the Line Between the Figurative and the Abstract,Courtney Curtiss, December, 2003
    • Russell, Candice, “Mira Lehr,” City Link, April 2-8, 2003, p 74
    • Turner, Elisa, “Gallery Review,” The Miami Herald, March 30, 2003, p.10 m
    • Visual Art, “Art Beat,” The Miami Herald, March 23, 2003 p. 3 m
    • Llanes, Miguel S., “La residencia del presidente de FIU,” el Nuevo Herald, April 13, 2002, p. 1E, illus. p. 1E
    • Turner, Elisa, “Art at Work: Fine Art Enlivening Corporate Settings,” The Miami Herald, May 23, 2000, pp. 1-2E, illus. p. 2E
    • Kiley, Dan, The Complete Works of America’s Landscape Architect, Bulfinch Press, Little Brown and Company, 1999, pp. 154-157
    • Tommaney, Jim, “New Work by Mira Lehr at Continuum Gallery,” Entertainment News and Views, July 4-10, 1997, p. 3
    • Turner, Elisa, “Mira Lehr’s Water World Reflects Beauty, Despair,” The Miami Herald, June 20, 1997, p. 9L
    • Guy Cooper and Gordon Taylor, Paradise Transformed: The Private Garden for the Twenty-first Century, Monacelli Press, 1996, pp.128-129
    • Kohen, Helen, “Go Figure,” The Miami Herald, March 31, 1995, p. 14G
    • Review, “Juarez Curates COCA Show,” Wire, December 8, 1994, p. 10
    • Delaplaine, Andrew, “The Myriad Colors of Mira Lehr,” YES Magazine, cover story, Vol. 1, No. 4, August 5, 1994, pp. 8-11
    • Kohen, Helen, “Lehr at Continuum,” The Miami Herald, May 13, 1994
    • Turner, Elisa, “Lehr’s Paintings Tantalize the Eye,” The Miami Herald, September 12, 1991, p.5F
    • Review, “Night Paintings by Mira Lehr,” Wire, September 11, 1991, pp. 20-21
    • Blanc, Giulio V., “Bombs and Oranges,” Arts Magazine, November 1990, p. 78
    • Who’s Who in American Art 1991-1992, 19th Edition, R. R. Bowker, div. Reed Publishing Co., 1990, p. 657
    • The Best in The World, “An Impulse Towards Figuration,” Curtis Publishing, Paris, France, Sept/Oct/Nov 1990, p. 109
    • Simmons, Ann, “Artists Find Creative Niche on Lincoln Road,” The Miami Herald , May 18, 1989, p. 18C
    • Kohen, Helen, “Outstanding Show at Four Arts,” The Miami Herald, December 4, 1987, p.8D
    • Lacher, Irene, “Here Women Make Art Their Business,” The Miami Herald, May 14, 1987
    • Burg, Monika, “Eureka Exhibition,” The Arts Newsletter, January 1986
    • Kohen, Helen, “Women’s Group Show Lives Up to Fine Setting,” The Miami Herald September 8, 1985, p. 2K
    • Review, “Women in the Mainstream 1884-1984,” Louisiana World Exposition, Inc. May 1984, Kohen, Helen, “Water, Water Everywhere at New Orleans’ Fair – Lehr’s a Winner,” The Miami Herald, April 5, 1984, p. 27


    • Miami Art Museum Permanent Collection, Miami, Fl
    • CYBEX International,
    • Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, CA
    • Sloan Kettering Memorial Permanent Collection, New York, New York
    • GenSpring Family Offices
    • Seaside Banks, Florida
    • Stichting Yellow-Fellow. Woudrichem, The Netherlands
    • Vassar College Library, Archives & Special Collections, Poughkeepsie, NY
    • Art Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, Illinois
    • The Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
    • Bacardi Collection, Miami, Florida
    • Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida
    • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, New York
    • Barnes /Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Inter Terra Corporation, Miami, Florida
    • Kislak National Bank, Miami Lakes, Florida
    • Proskauer, Rose, Goetz & Mendelsohn, New York, New York
    • SunTrust Banks, Florida
    • Tyler Museum of Art, University of Texas, Tyler, Texas
    • Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL


    2010        Artist in Residence, “The Bascom Visual Art Center”. Highlands NC, August 2010

    2009        5th Annual Vassar FilmFest. Invited to screen film “Dreamscapes” and participate in a panel            discussion. Letelier Theatre, Washington, D.C., October 17, 2009

    2007         Simon & Goodman Picture Company. Media video and DVD. Mira Lehr-Dreamscapes: Interviews with Irving Sandler, Robert Kushner, Roberto Juarez, Alexandra Spivy, Carol Diehl, and Morley Safer.

    2007                Silent Art Auction to Benefit The RugMark Foundation. Odegard, Paradeisos, April 17,

    Miami FL

    2007        A Winner of the 2007 Southern Competition of New American Paintings. Juried by Charlotta Kotik, Chairman of Painting and Sculpture and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

    2006        “Paintings into Tapestries” talk at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach FL August 25,

    2006                        “From Canvas to Textiles” interview for WLRN TV aired on September 18, 2006

    2006            “Influences on My Art”, Panelist, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

    2005            Off the Beaten Path, Inside the Artist Studio, Bass Museum of Art

    2005            Mira Lehr Designs for Stephanie Odegard, Inc.
    2002            Vasari Project, Visual Art Archives at Miami-Dade Public Library
    1973-98            Trustee, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places Trust
    1991-96    Chairperson, Art in Public Places Committee, Miami Beach, Florida
    1993             Grumbacher Award, National Association of Women Artists, New York
    1984- 90   Grant Letters of Recommendation, Linda Nochlin, New York
    1986                First Place, Works on Paper National Exhibition, University of Texas, Tyler, Texas
    1966-86    Co-Founder, Continuum Gallery, First Women’s Art Co-op in Southeast, shows

    and workshops including John Chamberlain, Jack Flam, Betty Parsons, Roman

    1969                Selected as one of twenty-three participants to work with Buckminster Fuller on

    The First World Game Scenario Project, New York Studio School, New York, New