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Boca Museum of Art's Elaine Reichek: The Eye of the Needle

Conceptual artist Elaine Riechek uses needlework to explore the relation and mistranslation that arises when one culture views another through ethnocentric-tinged lens. From May 3 through July 27, the Boca Museum of Art will present a survey of Reichek’s work in the exhibition “Elaine Reichek: The Eye of the Needle,” which explores feminist and multicultural mistruths that present themselves within society.   

Elaine Reichek (American, born 1943) Yellow Men, 1986, knitted wool yarn, oil on gelatin silver print, 71 x 115 inches.  Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.

Elaine Reichek (American, born 1943)

Yellow Men, 1986, knitted wool yarn, oil on gelatin silver print, 71 x 115 inches.

Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.

   Reichek’s process takes ethnographic and architectural photographs, enlarges them and hand-colors the subjects, often creating an abstract design in bright and bold colors pitted against grainy black and white photos. She then creates a hand-knitted interpretation of the image’s subject, often deliberately misreading the image, which is further compounded by the very nature of the embroidery or knitting process itself. When taken side-by-side, the viewer is presented with a visual representation of disassembled context: the original, now colored and twisted, no longer represents an objective subject, which is then further undone and recreated. What’s left is fantasy and conjecture, a cultural misrepresented by the prejudices of another. This is deftly done in the works depicting the indigenous Fuegians, the native inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego in South America (pictured above). One can easily see how the context shifts from archival to abstract, and how perception can change through the lens in which the subject is presented.

  • “Elaine Reichek: The Eye of the Needle” will be on display from May 3 through July 27.
  • Prior to the exhibition opening, meet artist Elaine Reichek at an intimate Champagne and Conversation reception from 3:30-4 p.m. Reservation are requires; RSVP at apfister@bocamuseum.org or 561.392.2500, ext. 209.
  • On May 6 from 2-3 p.m., the Curatorial Highlight Tour series will spotlight “Elaine Reichek: The Eye of the Needle.” Led by curator Kathleen Goncharov, experience the intriguing solo exhibition that includes hand-knitted interpretations of ethnographic photographs, contemporary samplers with a message, and The Artist's Bedroom featuring embroidered versions of master works.
  • On June 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m., join curator Kathleen Goncharov for coffee and an informal discussion of Elaine Reichek’s knitted and embroidered artwork. Reservation are requires; RSVP at apfister@bocamuseum.org or 561.392.2500, ext. 209.
Elaine Reichek (American, born 1943) Navajo, 1992, knitted wool yarn, oil on gelatin silver print, 70 x 62 inches.  Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.

Elaine Reichek (American, born 1943)

Navajo, 1992, knitted wool yarn, oil on gelatin silver print, 70 x 62 inches.

Courtesy of the artist and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.

 

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