In her later works, Elena del Rivero (Valencia, 1949) transforms epistolary genre into the main source of her artistic narrative, while transforming sewing into a communicative and graphic medium. By emphasising the connotations that the action of knitting has traditionally received and how it has been represented, the artist once again focuses on the binomial of sewing and un-sewing fabric, like a metaphor of hope and the possibility of return, referring to the classic figure of Penelope. Taking as starting point the subheading of Marina Tsvetaeva’s work, Florentine Nights: Nine letters, the tenth retained an eleventh one received -which in turn the Russian author takes from the German poet Heinrich Heine: Florentinische Nächte- Elena del Rivero transforms thread and paper into materials, both pictorial and sculptural, which the artist always uses from a poetic conception and attempts to make visual pleasure prevail as a territory of desire. For this exhibition, and having close by the example of her Cartas a la madre, Elena del Rivero proposes other letters: those unsent letters which will therefore not receive any reply, so that nostalgia, grief and waiting make up the three fundamental states on which this exhibition stands.
The artist says she uses metaphors "to say what she cannot say and to hide what she cannot express." In this way, and as pointed out by Professor Assumpta Bassas, "her letters recreate the spaces of personal and symbolic relationships which we immediately identify as part of our experience." The system consists of several pieces in which the tissue -like words- overflows from the space of writing (Carta enviada. Yes, yes, yes, 1997). Carta inacabada (1997-1998) consists of one thousand two hundred drawings of the same size displayed in an orderly way on one of the walls of the room. In these we see that between the lines pearls have been sewn and she adds literal excerpts from correspondence with Madame de Sevigné (1629-1696) and her daughter. Thus, Elena del Rivero displays and accepts the identity between sewing and writing (and thus also language), "where an enigmatic, warm and natural approach between painting, knitting and writing occurs, through the merger of gestures and signs", as noted by Bassa. The exhibition includes a sound piece: Cuarteto de cuerda (1998), consisting of a recording of a threaded needle going through the papers of Carta inacabada (1997) appearing as a metaphor for a litany of which the beads of a rosary are strung.
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications
From 14 May, 2020
With Three Wounds, I
From 13 April, 2020
Before the Threshold
Ignacio Gómez de Liaño
11 October, 2019 - 30 August, 2020
Time Is Mute
Delphine Seyrig and the Feminist Video Collectives in France in the 1970s and 1980s
The Poetics of Democracy
Images and Counter-Images from the Spanish Transition
From 21 February, 2020
Kontakt with Guy Schraenen
Artists’ Publications, Sound, Films, and MoreMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación