Apr 11th 2015

Karen Reimer: Geometry in Outer Space or Heaven

@ Monique Meloche Gallery

2154 W Division, Chicago IL

Opening Saturday, April 11th, from 4PM - 7PM

On view through Saturday, May 30th

Artist talk: Wednesday, May 27, 6pm

Karen Reimer in conversation with Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director, Renaissance Society

Monique Meloche Gallery is pleased to announce Karen Reimer’s third solo exhibition with the gallery — Geometry in Outer Space or Heaven. For this exhibition, Reimer will debut a new series of collaged drawings and sculpture that on the surface seem to diverge from her familiar sewn textile work yet reveal a close continuation of her rigorous conceptual practice.

As with all her work, Reimer begins with a strict set of rules. Here she pairs swatches of fabric with drawings of three-dimensional geometric solids. Shapes and patterns in the fabric dictate where it meets the geometric form. The excess fabric left floating outside the lines is covered in gold leaf. This “golden repair” is a reference to the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi: a tradition of repairing ceramics with a compound made from lacquer dusted with powdered gold, in order to highlight the damage rather than obscure it. This gesture harkens back to Reimer’s coveted Contingent Solutions series (1996-1999) of broken and mended dishware.

The overall effect of Reimer’s conceptual technique creates an optical dissonance, where our mind oscillates between the fullness of the object and the flatness of the fabric. Ultimately, her work inhabits the gap between experience and representation, the slippage between the knowledge we gain through our bodies and codification of this knowledge in our languages of visual representation.

Copies of Endless, which is Reimer’s first monograph, are available for purchase at the gallery. They are also available at Gallery 400 and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Karen Reimer (American, b. 1958 Kansas, lives Chicago) reconsiders modernist ideals and minimalist embodiment through the quirks and heterogeneity of the handmade and every day. Endless, the first major publication on Reimer’s pioneer craft aesthetic, was published by Gallery 400 and WhiteWalls in 2015. Her prime number embroidered series, Endless Set (2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31), was recently acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She is a recipient of the Artadia Individual Artist Grant, the Richard A. Driehaus Individual Artist Award, and the Women’s Caucus for the Arts President’s Award. A major exhibition of Reimer’s work will open in May of 2016 at the Hyde Park Art Center. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Material Gestures: Cut, Weave, Sew, Knot, Rhona Hoffman Gallery (2014); A Study in Midwest Appropriation, curated by Michelle Grabner, Hyde Park Art Center (2013); Wall Text, curated by Zachary Cahill, Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago (2012); Endless Set, Gallery 400 (2012). Additionally, her work has been included in group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Contemporary Craft Museum, Portland, Oregon; and Wallspace Gallery, New York, among others. Reimer’s works have been featured in the edited volumes Contemporary Textiles: The Fabric of Fine Art (Black Dog Publishing, 2008); The Object of Labor: Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production (SAIC Press and MIT Press, 2007); By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010); and Limited Language-Rewriting Design: Responding to a Feedback Culture (Birkhauser Architecture, 2009). She is an adjunct instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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