Elaine Reichek, You Coasts (Ocher), (detail), 2014, silkscreen ink and hand embroidery with beads on linen, Courtesy of the artist, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, and Marinaro, New York

Elaine Reichek

Now If I Had Been Writing This Story

April 13 – June 3, 2018

Throughout her practice from the mid-1970s onward, Elaine Reichek has continuously amplified and renegotiated the borders that have long separated the fine arts from craftsmanship. Her extensive body of work expands from knitting to silk screening, photography, and forms of digital image-making. Reichek questions forms of representation and often mobilizes text-image compounds, a substantial amount of which draw on literary genres. However, a focus on processes and a sensitivity towards modern and present-day production techniques and machinery allow Reichek’s practice to comment on questions of communication and translation when appropriating prominent works from the (mostly male) Western canon of art history, mythology, and the vast stock of digital imagery found on internet search engines.

In her recent works, Reichek translates imagery that circulates on web-based platforms into the traditional medium of embroidery, at times using pattern samplers from the textile industry, so-called “swatches.” Employing both manual and digital stitching techniques, she has put to the fore the idea that stitching resembles a form of coding, comparable to the individual pixels on a computer screen. The artist’s exploration of embroidery techniques has not only set out to investigate the medium’s legacy as a form of domestic labor and female connoted craft, but has equally provided a means to interrogate how images travel across the history of art and its media. (Text: Christoph Chwatal)

Elaine Reichek, born in 1943 in New York City, lives and works in New York City.