In her fourth solo show at Nicole Klagsbrun, Elaine Reichek presents Ariadne’s Thread, on view from February 11 to March 24, 2012, at 534 West 24th Street. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, February 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.
Reichek has referred to Greek mythology in earlier work, but Ariadne’s Thread marks the first time she has dedicated an entire series to one specific myth. An ongoing series that began in 2008, it comprises eighteen embroideries (nine of which will be shown here), some sewn by hand, some made with a digital sewing machine. It also includes Reichek’s first large-scale tapestry, woven with computerized technology in a Belgian mill, and included in this year’s Whitney Biennial. Collectively the series chronicles the story of Ariadne, the behind-the-scenes heroine whose thread Theseus unspooled to lead him out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth.
Reichek’s fascination with Ariadne’s story is centered on the idea of thread, whether literally, metaphorically, or formally. In Reichek’s art, thread works as a line, directly connecting objects, images, and ideas. In the myth of Ariadne it is intricately interwoven with symbolism and metaphors that have made their way deeply into all levels of Western culture.
The works on display appropriate images of the Ariadne myth from art-historical sources, pairing most of them with quotations culled from a wide range of literary figures. The series also includes an arrangement of digital photographs and other printed matter mined from the artist’s extensive picture archives, realized for the gallery as a wall-sized installation.
Reichek has been using thread as a core element in her work since the early 1970s, at first with minimalist line paintings made with thread on canvas, and more recently with her embroidery and new-media works. She was an early pioneer among conceptual artists rethinking the role of craft in the fine arts, in what is now a burgeoning field of creative endeavor and critical inquiry.
Reichek lives and works in New York, and has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad. Her work will be included in the upcoming Whitney and São Paulo biennials, and is presently on view at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She has recently been awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
Nicole Klagsbrun 534 West 24th Street Tel. 212.243.3335 Fax 212.243.1059 [email protected]