I first heard Riva Lehrer's name when I spoke with Ann Fox and Jessica Cooley about curating shows dealing with art and disability. Actually seeing her work though, was inspiring. A Chicago-based painter whose work speaks to identity and disability through her beautifully rendered portraits, and I don't think I can put it better than Art Critical does when they describe her style as "crisply observed realism mixed with fantastically contrived settings."
Sculptor Louise Bourgeois created an array of surreal images in her career, many of which address psychological phenomena in physically mutated or twisted figurative forms. But perhaps Bourgeois, nicknamed "Spiderwoman," will be remembered by much of the public who encountered her work for placing dozens of giant bronze spiders worldwide. She died last week, aged 98.