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.
Museo Reina Sofía Publications
28 February – 1 July 2024
Olga de Soto
Reconstruction of a Danse MacabreProgram: Fisuras
21 February - 24 June 2024
The Practice of Art
1 December 2023 – 10 March 2024
Ulla von Brandenburg
29 November 2023 - 11 March 2024
15 November 2023 - 4 March 2024
The Turning Point
23 February – 7 June 2024
What They Saw
Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999Library and Documentation Centre