Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Luanne Rimel's work in “St. Louis Creates: Works by Local Artists”

by Sun Smith-Fôret

Luanne Rimel's work in “St. Louis Creates: Works by Local Artists
Saint Louis University Museum of Art
November 14—December 14, 2014

Curated with sharp eyes for diverse talents among us, Saint Louis University Museum of Art Gallery Director Petruda Lipan and Curator Roxanne Phillips, chose to include a body of recent work by Luanne Rimel, in their current exhibition, “St. Louis Creates: Works by Local Artists.” Rimel is a mixed media textile artist with a MFA from Laura Strand's Fibers Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Luanne currently serves as Director of Education Programs at Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design in University City, Missouri.

Luanne's presence in "Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern," an exhibition curated by Jane Sauer at Duane Reed Gallery this past October, joined her oeuvre with leading artists from around the country who use rhythm, repetition and pattern as means and vehicles of expression for their aesthetic assertions. Sauer asked, "Are artists who study repetition seeking the comfort of conformity, predictability, or cohesiveness, or rather, participating in an exploration of innate design and transformative growth?" Luanne's pieces posed those questions visually and answered those questions obliquely and subjectively, bidding viewers to enter the works and draw our own conclusions.

Luanne Rimel. The Glance. 2012. Hand Quilted Inkjet Photo on Cloth, 10"x10".

Technically, this artist uses higher tech methods like photography and photographic ink jet transfer paired with lower tech manipulation of cloth layering, thereby altering our expectation of the usual photographic space and perspective. After photography and layering of cloth, her time intensive over-stitching alters the surface and thereby the image, further abstracting the camera-caught piece of visual information.

Luanne Rimel. Concealed Forms. 2014. Hand Quilted Inkjet Photo on Cloth, 22'x37".

Aesthetically, Luanne is manipulating apparent solids and shadows from subtly juxtaposed 3-d sculptural images of hard stone, soft hands, palimpsests of marble masquerading as cloth, and subsequently, through the hand stitching, remaking the photo printed image into real and tactile cloth. It would be clever and playful indeed if the resulting objects were not so transcendental in their references to time, both temporal and eternal.

These subtle, quiet and calm works in a pallet of cool blues and grays with warm and cool whites, stimulate reflection, meditation, waking dreams and memories. There is philosophical overtone to each piece in a collection that reaffirmed for me the power in the personally crafted object and the ability of great art to affect and change us in ways we might not expect.

Artist Luanne Rimel with two of her featured works in "St. Louis Creates: Works by Local Artists," Saint Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO (November 14-December 14, 2014). Photo by Suzy Farren.

In the case of Luanne's work, I resonate as a psychotherapist and as a textile object maker with her meticulous use of technical and hand craft means to generate, in wall-suspended 2-d art objects, metaphysical questions about temporality; what survives, what passes, what happens to time, in time, over time? Cultures have measured time differently in complex systems for millennia. In Luanne Rimel's classically beautiful textiles, questions are raised about how we contemplate as artists, as seekers, the coming to terms over significant periods of time with the seeming vagaries and certitudes of our fluid/static human condition.
St. Louis Creates: Works by Local Artists” is presented November 14-December 14, 2014 at Saint Louis University Museum of Art, 3663 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. The exhibit features artworks by Stephen DaLay, James Holzer, Peter Manion, Mark Pappas, Sarah Paulsen, Luanne Rimel, Thomas Sleet, Brian D. Smith, and Ken Worley. Gallery is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed on national holidays. 314/977-3399. 
Sun Smith-Fôret is a practicing psychotherapist in St. Louis and a regional textile artist. Her mixed media textiles, drawings and paintings on the subject of movies over time have been exhibited in numerous gallery & museum exhibitions throughout the St. Louis area, Midwest and U.S. Her work is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO. Sun currently has mixed media textile artworks featured in two St. Louis area exhibitions: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Artists Respond,” Florissant Valley Gallery Admin, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, Ferguson, MO, through December 20; and "Art St. Louis XXX, The Exhibition," on view at Art Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO, through December 23, 2014.

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