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Elaine Reiche
at Shoshana Wayne Gallery Santa Monica, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw


Elaine Reiche, 'Within the Labyrinth' (detail), 2008, hand embroidery on linen, 43 3/8 x 34 3/4'

Continuing through May 21, 2011

Elaine Reiche's "Ariadne's Thread" tackles the Greek myth through hand-embroidered linens and a large-scale tapestry, which feature both classical, modern art, as well as the occasional pop cultural references. Sound and viable as they are, these are aesthetically and conceptually overshadowed by the accompanying photo archive in the west gallery that Reichek has so dutifully arranged, perhaps obsessively, into subcategories, including the "Jacquard/Babbage" group, the "Bacchus/Volcano" group, and the "Ruins" group, among others. Each delights in its way, whether through the repetitive familiarity of classic art historical paintings which continually pop up in different styles and eras, or through the variety of image incarnation within a given category, as in "Minotaur/Laybrinth." In this group a photo of a classic sculpture of a minotaur appears adjacent to a still of a labyrinth video game, which itself appears next to a still of the character Danny Torrance, who poses with his toys on the labyrinth-like carpet in "The Shining." The pattern is then reiterated in an embroidery work.  This level of visual taxonomy, of both aesthetic and semiotic recycling, though of course not without precedent, has rarely been so satisfyingly arranged.

Shoshana Wayne Gallery

Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2011

Shoshana Wayne Gallery

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