The dishcloth is displayed with an assortment of drawings—of mended feathers, mostly, made as much with pencils as with erasers, in addition to needles, thread, and gold leaf. This small gathering is del Rivero's first show in Seattle; born in Valencia, Spain, she has lived in New York since 1991 and is best known for two series: One, the enigmatic Letters to the Mother, collected by the Museum of Modern Art; and two, a project including tapestries created from the documents she found upon returning to her blown-out, World Trade Center-facing studio on September 12, 2001, which will be featured at the New Museum on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the attacks this fall.
Spend some time with these.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention Carolina Silva's lovely essay in honor of del Rivero, which is well worth reading. Here's a segment:
Feathers are a recurrent sign in Elena Del Rivero’s work... Feathers, detached from the body of the bird, become something different. They used to be objects with a spiritual dimension, one related to the first and most primordial humanhood, culture and civilization, used in rituals and instrumental for the beginnings of tracing, puncturing and writing. In her hands, however, feathers are no longer obsolete. They become traces of an existence, one that has flown, is lost forever, and will never reconcile with its origin.
There is a certain sense of orphanhood that makes the work heroic while brutally humble, vulnerable while strong, sensitive while self-confident.