Simultaneously animal, vegetable and mineral, these sculptures hinge on a distinct notion of femininity that elides all such categories. Selekman assembles her materials - wool, vintage buttons, pocketbook frames, silk and thread - via sewing and other labor-intensive methods to invest her sculptures with the weight of utility.
Opening: Friday February 21, 2003, 6-9pm
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculpture by Rachel Selekman. Simultaneously animal, vegetable and mineral, these sculptures hinge on a distinct notion of femininity that elides all such categories. Selekman assembles her materials -- wool, vintage buttons, pocketbook frames, silk and thread -- via sewing and other labor-intensive methods to invest her sculptures with the weight of utility. While the fruit borne of this labor recalls practical objects such as handbags or cloaks, their visceral impact depends on these associations only insofar as both fairytales and dreams have roots in the familiar.
The Surrealists, with their lobster telephones and fur-lined teacups, based an entire movement on this phenomenon. Selekman, on the other hand, visits the same set of recurring forms, but many of them -- tendrils, tresses and flowing water -- cannily echo her materials' gendered connotations. By foregrounding the biology of these forms, she strips away divisions within and between species, arriving at something that's ultimately much more primal. Sprouting tubes and tentacles, orifices and invaginations, each piece reaches out in a manner both threatening and welcoming -- equal parts houseplant and parasite.
Selekman has created three site-specific works for this exhibition. Emerging respectively from the gallery's ceiling, corner, and a drain in the floor, each one carries the tactility of her sculptures to new heights. Taken alongside her organza lampreys and mouth-like silk clutches, they all exude a demure yet aggressive corporeality that captures Selekman's engagement with the riotous power of life force.
Rachel Selekman is a graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1997 she received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation's annual award. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
"Untitled" (pink purse), 2002, Pocketbook frame, chain, fabric, thread, ribbon wire and mixed media, 44 x 55 x 58 inches
Join Priska Juschka and the artist at the gallery for an opening reception on Friday, February 21st from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
Gallery hours: Thursday through Monday 12:00 to 6:00 PM or by appointment.
Priska Juschka Fine Art
97 North 9th Street, (Berry Street & Wythe Ave.) Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 718 782-4100 F: 718 782-4800