Elaine Reichek

MATERIAL GIRL

Marinaro
678 Broadway, Floor 3
New York
Soho
Mar 5th — Apr 9th

Find out more

You’ll leave Elaine Reichek’s second solo exhibition at Marinaro, “MATERIAL GIRL,” with a slapdash bachelor’s in art history. An artists’ artist, Reichek has thrown a little bit of everything in this prolific show, which includes 50 works made only in the last few years, and spans both floors of the gallery with painting, embroidery, text, and textile works referencing 19th-century teaching samplers, literary texts, fashion, Baroque art, conceptual art and more. In Darning Sampler: LeWitt's Color Grids (2018), she riffs on Sol Lewitt’s grids while entirely upending his conceptualist philosophy by rendering them as a darning sampler. She comments on Jackson Pollock in a series of critical texts stitched upon commercially printed fabrics with a Pollock-esque pattern, even going so far as to stretch one bolt of the fabric around the corner of the room.

Sometimes, Reichek spells it out for us: she stitches “Marsden Hartley painted ‘Insignia and Gloves,’ 1936, in memory of Karl von Freyburg (d. 1914), and Alty & Donny Mason (d. 1936)” on her embroidered rendition of the titular work, In Memoriam (Marsden Hartley) (2021). We even get a little theory, courtesy of Susan Howe’s “Bed Hangings II.” Wry and well-read, she even embroiders an excerpt from Barbara Pym’s Some Tame Gazelle (1950), in which a character mends a sock, alongside with a real woolen sock. Reichek’s obsession with fabrics extends to historical painting, from the glove Frans Hals painted on Dorothea Berck in 1644 to a dress by Wayne Thiebaud to the ripped jeans in a work by John Currin.

But Reichek’s one true love, if we may speak from the evidence of this exhibition alone, is clearly Henri Matisse. A grid of swatches of a Matissean female figure with various background colors appears here, as does a layered pink and green Monstera leaf in his late cut-out style, and even a reproduction of his tapestry notes for Michaela (1943) in a hand-embroidered 2021 work. Reichek may be most drawn to the seamlessness—no pun intended—between home and studio for Matisse. She draws not only from his artwork, but also swatches from his parlor furniture and even commercial products drawn from his work—like a true “material girl.” —Lisa Yin Zhang

Elaine Reichek, Felt Monstera, 2022. Felt, map tracks, 22.75 x 17.5 inches.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.