Marie H. Elcin’s Stitching Hour at Random Tea Room

[This is the first in several ultra-brief posts I hope to get up this week about work I’ve seen recently that have given me tremendous pleasure or piqued my interest in some way. I’m sort of overwhelmed with outside-the-blog life, but I really wanted to tell you about this stuff.–libby]

IMG_8282 Marie Elcin
Marie H. Elcin, Abstracts series: Brave

Embroidery is usually a backwater in contemporary art, a medium that speaks of the kitchen table, colonial samplers and saccharine sentiments. But Marie H. Elcin‘s embroideries, while giving a nod to the medium’s historic uses, makes work that is something else again.

The Stitching Hour: abstract and doodle embroideries is a boutique of an exhibit. Eight of Elcin’s small works plus some tiny embroidered pendants is on display at the Random Tea Room, noteworthy both for the work and the meticulous installation.

Marie H. Elcin, Abstracts series: Trust
Marie H. Elcin, Abstracts series: Trust

Elcin uses words in her oeuvre, but this is not your great grandmother’s sampler. Her words hang without explanation, tangled in the stitchery, always a little ambiguous, but still value laden exhortations like the embroidered messages of samplers. In a way they seem closer to the words Ed Ruscha uses, pulled out of context from the mainstream babble of advertising and other media. But Elcin’s words restore value to things that often come across as cant from political candidates–words we hear bandied about as talismans for a better world.

Anyway, the stitching and color choices, textures and compositions are powerful. It’s a lovely show, and I hope you can get there. It’s up until Oct. 24, which means you have today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

And while you’re at the tea room, check out the merchandise in the back–this is serious craft things–felt hats, necklaces. I had to restrain myself.

Marie recently wrote a report from Istanbul on the art scene there, for Artblog. If you missed it, check it out.