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Endless Set #1399

Friday, August 31, 2012–Saturday, October 20, 2012

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Artist Karen Reimer‘s exhibition at Gallery 400 comprises a new architecture-based entry in her on-going project Endless Set, accompanied by a selection of past artworks that illuminate the role spatial concerns have played in work that has often been read primarily through the lens of craft. It is presented in conjunction with an architecture-based exhibition at the Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage.

For more than fifteen years Reimer has created architecture-related installations that reconsider modernist ideals and minimalist embodiment through the quirks and heterogeneity of the handmade and everyday. The two exhibitions extend those interests by making markedly material two explicitly abstract, mathematical concepts of space. Added into Gallery 400’s exhibition are historical Reimer works that consider domestic, discursive, and spatial relations.

Gallery 400’s new work is a single iteration from Reimer’s series Endless Set (begun 2007), in which appliquéd pillowcases marry hand-sewn fabric’s domesticity to the infiniteness of the prime number sequence. Each pillowcase is made from a number of fabric scraps equal to a prime number. Appliquéd on top of this patchwork are the corresponding white fabric numerals. The depicted numeral measures as many inches tall as the number itself. Thus, the white fabric number 7 is seven inches high, and sewn onto a backing made of seven pieces of fabric. As the dimensions of the numbers exceed the dimensions of the pillowcase Reimer folds and layers the number form back and forth across the surface, gradually obscuring the patchwork. The larger the prime number, the more minimal in color and yet more sculptural the works become. For Gallery 400 ’s installation, Reimer crafts a pillowcase of the prime number, 1399, closest to the linear perimeter of Gallery 400’s largest gallery, 1400 inches (116 2/3 feet). Four white fabric numerals (scaled to 1399 inches) are folded and sewn down to the 30 by 20 inch dimensions of a standard pillowcase to become a stunning sculptural form compressing the dimensions of the exhibition space into a thick, dense fabric object, a physical doppelganger of the space. Reimer also devises a way to secondarily represent on the gallery ’s floors, walls, and ceilings, the full scale (116 2/3 foot high) numerals of the number that is condensed into the sculptural object.

The opening reception for Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399 is taking place on Friday, September 14, 2012 from 5-8pm. 
Karen Reimer: Golden is on view at the Gahlberg Gallery/McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, August 23–September 22, 2012. For more information visit www.cod.edu/gallery.
A catalogue on both exhibitions will be released in early 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Whitney Moeller
Assistant Director
312 996 6114
gallery400@uic.edu

KAREN REIMER ’S INFINITE MATHEMATICAL CRAFT COMES TO GALLERY 400

Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399

August 31-October 20, 2012

Reimer Promo
Image: Karen Reimer, Endless Set #17-29, 2007-, appliqué on pieced pillowcases, 20 x 30 in. each. Courtesy moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago.

August 1, 2012 – Chicago, IL — Karen Reimer ’s solo exhibition at Gallery 400 comprises a new entry in her on-going project Endless Set, accompanied by a selection of past artworks that illuminate the role spatial concerns have played in work that has often been read primarily through the lens of craft. Curated by Gallery 400 Director Lorelei Stewart, Endless Set #1399
is presented in conjunction with an architecture-based exhibition at the Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, and runs from August 31 to October 20, 2012.

Steeped in craft traditions, yet working across disciplines, Karen Reimer produces work that expansively addresses the larger relationship of craft to modernist and postmodernist cultural aims. For more than fifteen years she has created architecture-related installations that reconsider modernist ideals and minimalist embodiment through the quirks and heterogeneity of the handmade and everyday. The two exhibitions extend those interests by making markedly material two explicitly abstract, mathematical concepts of space.

Gallery 400’s new work is a single iteration from Reimer’s series Endless Set (begun 2007), in which appliquéd pillowcases marry hand-sewn fabric’s domesticity to the infiniteness of the prime number sequence. Each pillowcase is made from a number of fabric scraps equal to a prime number. Appliquéd on top of this patchwork are the corresponding white fabric numerals. The depicted numeral measures as many inches tall as the number itself. Thus, the white fabric number 7 is seven inches high, and sewn onto a backing made of seven pieces of fabric. As the dimensions of the numbers exceed the dimensions of the pillowcase Reimer folds and layers the number form back and forth across the surface, gradually obscuring the patchwork. The larger the prime number, the more minimal in color and yet more sculptural the works become. For Gallery 400 ’s installation, Reimer is crafting a pillowcase of the prime number, 1399, closest to the linear perimeter of Gallery 400’s largest gallery, 1400 inches (116 2/3 feet). Four white, fabric numerals (scaled to 1,399 inches) are folded and sewn down to the 26 by 20 inch linear dimensions of a standard pillowcase to become a stunning sculptural form compressing the dimensions of the exhibition space into a thick, dense fabric object—a physical doppelganger of the space. Reimer is currently devising a way to secondarily represent on the gallery ’s floors, walls, and ceilings, the full-scale (116 2/3 foot high) numerals of the number that is condensed into the sculptural object.

The site-specific installation will be accompanied by a selection of historical works that consider domestic, discursive, and spatial relations.

Karen Reimer (born 1958) has had solo exhibitions at moniquemeloche gallery, Chicago; the Rochester Art Center, MN; the Riverside Arts Center, IL; Schopf Gallery, Chicago; and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Her work has been included in group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Contemporary Craft Museum, Portland, Oregon; and Wallspace Gallery, New York, among others. Reimer is the recipient of an Artadia Individual Artist grant and a Richard A. Driehaus Individual Artist award. Her work has been included in the publications By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), The Object of Labor: Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production (MIT Press, 2007), and Contemporary Textiles (Black Dog Press). She is currently an instructor in Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Reimer completed a BA at Bethel College, North Newton, KS, and an MFA at the University of Chicago.

Gallery 400 will co-publish a catalogue of both exhibitions with WhiteWalls to be distributed worldwide by University of Chicago Press. The 96-page catalogue will include 45 full color images; essays by Lauren Berlant, Penelope Dean, and Judith Russi Kirshner; as well as an interview between Karen Reimer and Lorelei Stewart. The publication will be released in early-2013.

Related Programs:

Opening Reception
Friday, September 14, 5-8pm

Film Screening
Wednesday, September 26, 7pm

Voices: Karen Reimer
Tuesday, October 2, 6pm

Voices: Benjamin Nicholson
“Geometry, Labyrinths, Crop Circles, and Taboo”
Tuesday, October 9, 6pm

Benjamin Nicholson is Associate Professor of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum at Altria, New York; the Renaissance Society, Chicago; the Barcelona Center of Contemporary Culture; and the Venice Biennale of Architecture. His publications include The Appliance House and The World: Who Wants It? Nicholson is the recipient of awards from the Graham Foundation, the SOM Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. He received a Master of Architecture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and studied at the Architecture Association in London and the Cooper Union in New York.

Voices: Ramin Takloo-Bighash
“The History, Theory, and Practice of Prime Numbers”
Tuesday, October 16, 6pm

Karen Reimer ’s site-specific installation at Gallery 400 is the latest entry in her ongoing series Endless Set (begun 2007), in which appliquéd pillowcases marry hand-sewn fabric’s domesticity to the infiniteness of the prime number sequence. In this lecture, Professor Ramin Takloo-Bighash provides insight into the mathematical concept of the prime number—a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. From Euclid’s Elements to Carl Sagan ’s Contact, he explains why prime numbers are so frequently the subject of popular fascination, illuminating both their captivating history and current relevance.

Ramin Takloo-Bighash is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining UIC ’s faculty in 2007, he worked at Princeton University first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor. He is the co-author of An Invitation to Modern Number Theory (with Steven J. Miller, Princeton University Press, 2006). Takloo-Bighash received a BS from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, both in Mathematics.

Panel Discussion: Lauren Berlant, Penelope Dean, Judith Russi Kirshner, Karen Reimer, and Lorelei Stewart
Date and Time TBD

Karen Reimer: Golden is on view at the Gahlberg Gallery/McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, August 23–September 22, 2012. For more information, visit www.cod.edu/gallery.

Tours

Gallery 400 offers guided tours for groups of all ages. Tours are free of charge but require reservation. Please complete our online form to schedule a tour of Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399. For more information, or to discuss the specific needs and interests of your group, please contact us at 312-996-6114 or gallery400@uic.edu.

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Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399 is supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, Inc.; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Founded in 1983, Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design. The Gallery’s program of exhibitions, lectures, film and video screenings, and performances features interdisciplinary and experimental practices. Operating within the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Gallery 400 endeavors to make the arts and its practitioners accessible to a broad spectrum of the public and to cultivate a variety of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Gallery 400 is recognized for its support of the creation of new work, the diversity of its programs and participants, and the development of experimental models for multi-disciplinary exhibition.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Karen Reimer HeadshotSteeped in craft traditions, yet working across disciplines, Karen Reimer (born 1958) produces work that expansively addresses the larger relationship of craft to modernist and postmodernist cultural aims. For Reimer, craft is a means to explore architectural concerns, minimalist issues, questions of labor, and connotations within the domestic or vernacular. She has had solo exhibitions at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; the Rochester Art Center, MN; the Riverside Arts Center, IL; Schopf Gallery, Chicago; and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Her work has been included in group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Contemporary Craft Museum, Portland, Oregon; and Wallspace Gallery, New York, among others. Reimer is the recipient of an Artadia Individual Artist grant and a Richard A. Driehaus Individual Artist award. Her work has been included in the publications By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), The Object of Labor: Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production (MIT Press, 2007), and Contemporary Textiles (Black Dog Press). She is currently an instructor in Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Reimer completed a BA at Bethel College, North Newton, KS, and an MFA at the University of Chicago.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399

Poster: Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Karen Reimer

Acts of Revision
, 2000
Embroidery on fabric, 9 1/4 x 6 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Boundary Troubles, 2002-03
Embroidery on fabric, 8 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.
Courtesy Dirk Denison and David Salkin

Boundary Troubles #3, 2003
Embroidery on fabric, 25 x 37 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Boundary Troubles #5, 2004
Embroidery on fabric, 26 x 21 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Boundary Troubles #7, 2004
Embroidery on fabric, 7 X 16 1/4 in.
Courtesy the Collection of Martin Friedman and Peggy Casey-Friedman

Boundary Troubles #9, 2004
Embroidery on fabric, 26 x 13 1/4 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Boundary Troubles #12, 2005
Embroidery on fabric, 27 1/4 x 34 1/2 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2000, 2000
Embroidery on fabric, 21 1/2 x 26 1/2 in.
Courtesy Jeff Mercer and Linda Glass

Chicago Tribune, April 29, 2001, 2011
Embroidery on fabric, 22 x 25 in.
Courtesy the Collection of Debra L. Purden

Chicago Tribune, January 20, 2002, 2002
Embroidery on fabric, 21 1/2 x 24 in.
Courtesy the Hughesamaria Collection

Chicago Tribune, September 23, 2001, 2002
Embroidery on fabric, 22 x 13 in.
Courtesy private collection

Contingent Solution, 1995
Fabric and wax on china, 10 1/4 x 10 in.
Courtesy Bob and Sarah Peters

Contingent Solution, 1996
Fabric and wax on china, 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 in.
Courtesy Laura Letinsky

Contingent Solution, 1996
Fabric and wax on china, 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.
Courtesy private collection

Contingent Solution, 1997
Fabric and wax on china, 5 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.
Courtesy Stephen Pratt

Endless Set #1399, 2012
Sewn fabric on platform, 27 x 18 1/2 x 29 in.
Graphite and chalk on wall, 12 x 43 1/2 x 43 3/5 ft.

Endless Set #1-101, 2007-
Sewn fabric, 30 x 20 in.

#2-31, #61-73, #89-101: courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

#37, #41: courtesy the Collection of Igor DaCosta

#43, #47: courtesy the Collection of Mark and Judy Bednar

#53, #59: courtesy Dirk Denison and David Salkin

#79, #83: courtesy private collection

Less is More, 2005
Embroidery on fabric, 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.
Courtesy Dirk Denison and David Salkin

Made for you by a professional seamstress, 1999
Embroidery on fabric, 8 3/4 x 6 in.
Courtesy the artist and moniquemeloche, Chicago

Minimalism, 1998
Embroidery on fabric, 7 x 4 1/2 in.
Courtesy Jeff Mercer and Linda Glass

Notebook Paper, 2004
Embroidery on fabric, 98 x 21 in.
Courtesy Stephen Pratt

Socialist Worker, March 31, 2000, 2001
Embroidery and appliqué on fabric, 16 1/2 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Untitled, 2011
Embroidery on fabric, 29 1/2 x 20 in.
Courtesy Jacqueline Terrassa

Untitled (Henderson), 2010–2011
Embroidery on fabric, 29 1/2 x 20 in.
Courtesy the Collection of Mark and Judy Bednar

Untitled (Ruskin), 2011
Embroidery on fabric, 28 3/4 x 20 in.
Courtesy Jacqueline Terrassa

The Value of Time, 1999
Embroidery on fabric, 10 x 7 in.
Courtesy the Collection of Cleve Carney

Ruiz, Steve. “Review: Karen Reimer/Gallery 400.” Newcity, Sept. 4, 2012.

Karen Reimer: Endless Set #1399 is supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, Inc.; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago; and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.