The Ins and Outs - a solo show by Rachel Rickert, curated by Christina Papanicolaou
Opening Reception: September 13, 2017, 6-8 pm
On view: 9/13 - 10/7
E.TAY Gallery is pleased to present Rachel Rickert’s second solo show, The Ins and Outs, curated by Christina Papanicolaou. Rickert’s work roots itself in the quiet, often overlooked moments of domestic life. She activates the mundane through obsessive consideration of a single frame in time, stirring up underlying themes of vulnerability, protection, and femininity. Her latest group of paintings further explore how physical spaces become psychological ones.
The Ins and Outs focuses a lens on our repeated behaviors, routines, and patterns, exposing specific details and peculiarities of personal spaces. As creatures of habit, we tend to repeat the same behaviors in recurring contexts. Even our physical environment becomes a cue for this performance. Developing a routine can reduce anxiety and increase efficiency. Frequently, it becomes chronic and automatic. But what happens when we become aware of our subconscious routines?
Rickert’s subjects are always active: bent limbs jerk, the face is obscured, the body is completely immersed in its task. Dynamic patterns around the room encompass the figure, emphasizing the subject’s irritability and sudden awareness of her daily habits and neurotic behavior. Banal activity, such as dressing and undressing, becomes a bizarre exertion of tangled shifting and frantic contortion. Eventually, the figure is eliminated altogether as Rickert confronts and explores both the tangible and intangible patterns that surround her.
She explains, “I paint patterns to better understand and fully grasp them. Yet the more I paint them, the more unfamiliar they become. My routines become unfamiliar as I translate them into marks of color.”
The viewing experience of Rickert’s paintings mirror her own experience inside the studio. Our eyes have no place to rest among ornate and variegated motifs that make up a claustrophobic, domestic environment. Captivated by the motifs themselves, she increases their scale and the composition acts as a magnifying glass zoomed in on the pattern’s structure. Paradoxically, as Rickert searches and yearns for symmetry and order, she discovers an even more complex and daunting reality.