Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Anybody who has read me for more than, like, 5 minutes, knows that I'm a total sucker for appropriation. Especially when it's done as deftly as it is by Elaine Reichek in her show at Nicole Klagsbrun. I wasn't at all familiar with Reichek's work until I read about it Saturday morning in the 10.29.07 issue of The New Yorker. I had already planned to make a quick hit trip to Chelsea so I added the show to my list.
It would be easy to look at her choice to use embroidery as a feminist gesture. However, it's more about dpi and ownership. Because of the latter I found myself thinking a lot about Richard Pettibone's work. Whereas Pettibone sometimes brings the work he's appropriating to the viewer by bringing it down to a hand-held size, Reichek does the same thing via the comfort most viewers associate with embroidery. It's homey. It lets you in. The work is yours.
My favorite piece isn't even on the wall. It sits atop a table in the middle of the room. It's a book of samples that includes a key to all the works in the show, just like what you would find at Home Depot. You can flip through the history of contemporary art. You can hold it in your hands.