Letter to the Mother, 1997
Gouache and ink on paper
2 units of 9 x 6 1/2 inches each
Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present Letter to the Mother by Elena del Rivero. Del Rivero is known to San Francisco by her recent inclusion in the SFMOMA show New Work: Drawings Today.
This exhibition continues del Rivero’s obsessive exploration of the letter format as both personal and universal communication. Based loosely on Kafka’s Letter to the Father, the intimate quality of the letter echoes the feeling of a personal diary, yet the references and metaphors remain universal. Over 1200 Letters to the Mother have been written since the series began in 1991. In addition, del Rivero has also completed a series called Letter to the Other for the 1995 Johannesburg Biennial, and Letter from the Bride shown last spring in New York.
The form of the letter incorporates drawing, painting and installation and includes pieces without text and with embroidery and collage. The main focus of this show will be 3 large-scale works each with fifty letters sewn together.
The intricate and tangled surface of the letters often mimic the impossibility of communication. In other cases, the repetition of an embroidery stitch transmits the tedium of the eternal wait. In both the drawings and paintings, del Rivero combines the repetitive patterns of embroidery with the formal properties of Minimalism. All the work pivots around the use of time; the repetitive marks symbolizing the seconds to the hour as well as the time-consuming crafts made by the hands of women.
Del Rivero will exhibit next fall in the Project Room at the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. 270 Letters to the Mother are in the permanent collection of the Reina Sofia and 300 Letters to the Mother are now in the collection of Fundacio La Caixa in Barcelona. Del Rivero was born in Valencia, Spain and has lived in New York since 1991.