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Rachel Selekman
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant

ARTIST STATEMENT: In my sculptures, reference to the human body, the use of everyday objects, fine craftsmanship, and the dynamism of elements that literally reach out to the viewer are paramount. The recent sculptures, until the past year or so, explored the dynamics of relationships, of intimacy. "The Conversation" and "The Lovers" show two "figures" in this dynamic, whereas "Mouth Wide Open," as a single figure/object, implicates the viewer in the pas de deux. These scenarios take form in mixed-media sculptures that have watering can bases and/or watering can remnants, stand-ins for the human body and skin, respectively.

A wall sculpture sans watering can, "Reveal (Taking Stock 1)," the most recent sculpture, is a departure from the earlier pieces and indicative of the direction of my forthcoming 3D work. I decided about two years ago to start incorporating all the materials I have left over from other pieces into new work. "Reveal," for example, includes almost all the beads, buttons, and sew-ons from my stockpile, as well as leftover fabric, and “taking stock” in the title references this approach.

This self-imposed directive came to be for two reasons: a milestone birthday and the accompanying reflections and my day-to-day life as an avid recycler, composter, and upcycler. With these practices in mind, I thought, why let all these beautiful materials lay fallow in my closet? Moving forward, I will use my stockpile to make visually complex and engaging sculptures.

In addition to sculpture, I make collages, the focus of my output the past few years. They employ a lexicon of images and often vintage materials, where hand sewing and collage are the dominant modes of construction. In "Golden Flow," the crotch form, watch faces cut out of magazines, and gold metallic thread coalesce to address issues of aging and in particular women’s biological clocks. Works from the "Fifty" series are about time passing: a new phase beginning and one ending; sadness and loss versus hope and expectation. In the series, which will number 50 when complete, I am revisiting ideas that have long interested me, working with ones I haven’t had time to focus on, and developing new ideas. The drawings incorporate motifs that have been part of my oeuvre for years (hands, tears, crotch), and new ones: hourglass and watch faces, with the hourglass particularly potent because when the "sand" is in the top of the hourglass, it’s full of potential, whereas, when it’s in the bottom, it’s as if time has run out.


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2014 Rachel Selekman: Making Connections, Lawrence Gallery, Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA

2006 Spray: New Sculpture, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY

2005 Fresh, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, Germany

2004 Rachel Selekman: New Work, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

2003 Rachel Selekman: Sculpture, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

2001 Rachel Selekman: New Sculpture, E. A. Draper Showcase Gallery, Delaware
Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington

1996 Alterations: New Work from New York, KAOS-Galerie, Cologne, Germany

1992 Weight, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY


"Give Voice” Postcard Project, LMAKbooks+design, New York, NY

Wonderland, Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn, NY
If Only Bella Abzug Were Here, Marc Straus Gallery, New York, NY

Group Exhibition, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
Wintertime, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin

The Cloud in the Paper, The Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Floral Motifs, The Horticultural Society of New York, 1stdibs Gallery, New York, NY

Honorable Beasts, Elgin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Yard Sale, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

Bootstrap Festival Exhibition, Clemete Soto Velez Cultural Center, New York, NY

Twenty: 20 Years Aurel Scheibler, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin, Germany
Signs on the Road, Winkelman Curatorial Lab, New York, NY

NYFA Boot Camp Arts Festival Kickoff, New York Foundation for the Arts, Brooklyn, NY

Aggregate, The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
Back to the Garden, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY

Portraits, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin, Germany
Ornamental Instincts, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
What F Word, Cynthia Broan Gallery, New York, NY

THIS IS NOT FOR YOU: Sculptural Discourses, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
Garden Improvement, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
Process & Promise: Art, Education & Community at the 92nd Street Y, Weill Art Gallery, 92nd Street Y, New York, NY
Threads of Memory, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Long Island City, NY

New Art, New York: Reflections on the Human Condition, Trierenberg Holding, AG, Traun, Austria
Kiss Me Long and Hard, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

On Site, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY
Is One Thing Better Than Another??? Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, Germany
Maravee, Villa Ottelio-Savorgnan Ariis di Rivignano, (UD), Italy

Explaining Magic, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Solo Dibujo, Museo d’Arte Universidad Nacional, Bogota, Columbia

Bitch School, Longwood Arts Project, Bronx, NY

Fairy Tale, Elsa Mott Ives Gallery, YMCA, New York, NY
Craft Forms, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Eleventh Annual Faculty Exhibition, 92nd Street Y, New York, NY
Group Exhibition, General Electric, Fairfield, CT

Chocolate Kingdom, The Work Space @ Dolgenos, Newman & Cronin, New York, NY

Objectivity: International Objects of Subjectivity, Contemporary Art Center of
Virginia, Virginia Beach
Quickening, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT
Hold It Now, Hit It, Court Street Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

A La Mode, Sauce Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Artists Choose Artists, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
Looking Good Feeling Good, 450 Broadway Gallery, New York, NY

Garment as Metaphor, Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL
Derek Eller, Christopher Minot, Kenneth Rosenthal, Rachel Selekman, and Sebastian Spingler, Gallery 2, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

The Next Generation: The Impact of Race, Class & Sexuality on Family Life, Gallery 2, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Sculpture Exhibition, Cb's 313 Gallery, New York, NY

The Strange Life of Objects, MOMENTA Art Alternatives, Philadelphia, PA

The 1988 Drawing Competition, Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA

Works on Paper, Beaver College, Glenside, PA
47th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA


2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp
2007-08 Henry Street Settlement Abrons Art Center Residency
1997-98 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.
1993 SAIC Trustee Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (full-tuition scholarship for graduate study)


The Museum of Modern Art, Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection, New York, NY
Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria
General Electric, Fairfield, CT
Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville
AlixPartners, London and Milan
Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

Ingall, Marjorie. “Finding Bella Abzug in Art.” Tablet, July 15, 2016.
Salisbury, Greg. “Rachel Selekman’s New Exhibition is ‘Making Connections’ to Local Art-Lovers.” The Jewish Exponent, Oct 3, 2014.
Mathews-Berenson, Margaret, and Sue Scott. Rachel Selekman: Making Connections, New York: Rachel Selekman, 2014.
Barrett Sattell, Jessica. “Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Selekman.” My SAIC, May 2014.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital Art + Architecture, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Hosptial, 2012.
Cobb, Peter, Susan Ball, and Felicity Hogan, eds. The Profitable Artist. New York: Allworth Press, 2011.
Maue, Joetta. "Future Heirlooms: Rachel Selekman." Mr X Stitch, September 2, 2011.
Rattemeyer, Christian. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection Catalogue Raisonne. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2009.
Wasserman, Nadine. Aggregate. Troy, NY: The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 2008.
Kalm, James. "Brooklyn Dispatches: Cool Island and Garden of Chill." Brooklyn Rail, July 2008.
Pearse, Emma. "Artist Rachel Selekman Cuts the Middleman Out of Flower-Watering." New York Magazine, June 27, 2008.
"Rachel Selekman", July 1, 2008.
McClintic, Miranda. What F Word. New York: Carol Cole Levin, 2008.
Genocchio, Benjamin. "Attractive and Accessible, But Is That All There Is?" New York Times, December 23, 2007.
Huang, Wennie. Ornamental Instincts. Bronx, NY: Wave Hill, 2007.
Johnson, Ken. "Two Odes to Nature, Grand and Demure." New York Times, July 14, 2006.
McGregor, Jennifer. Garden Improvement. Bronx, NY: Wave Hill, 2006.
SOFA New York 2006: The Ninth Annual International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art. Chicago: Expressions of Culture, Inc., 2006.
"Wave Hill Presents Garden Improvement.", June 27, 2006.
Garden Design magazine, September 2006, pp. 6, 18.
Process & Promise: Art, Education & Community at the 92nd Street Y. New York: 92nd Street Y, 2006.
Mathews-Berenson, Margaret. New Art—New York, Reflections on the Human Condition. Traun, Austria: Trierenberg Art, 2006.
___. Trierenberg Art: Kunst im Werk. Traun, Austria: Trierenberg Art, 2006.
___. Threads of Memory. Long Island City, NY: Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Projects, 2005.
Galloway, David. "Rachel Selekman, Aurel Scheibler, Cologne." ArtNews, September 2005.
Di Blassi, Johanna. "Magical Creations." Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger, April 7, 2005.
Maine, Stephen. "Dateline Brooklyn.", April 15, 2005.
Zannier, Sabrina. Maravee 2004-Clorofilla. Trieste, Italy: Communicarte Edizioni, 2004.
Riker, Janet. Explaining Magic. Brooklyn, NY: The Rotunda Gallery, 2003.
"An Anthology of Accessories." Fiber Arts, March/April 2002.
Torres, Eddie. "A Variety of Approaches to Feminism and Childhood." NY Arts Magazine, January 2002.
Strauss, R. B. "New Sculpture transforms common objects." Avon Grove Sun, August 16-22, 2001.
Sosanski, Edward. "Sculptor Weaves Beauty in Delaware." Philadelphia Inquirer, July 27, 2001.
Shulak, Paula. "Delaware arts center offers variety of exhibits." Greenville Community News, July 17, 2001.
Strauss, R. B. "July Brings No Slow Down at DCCA." Art Matters, July 2001.
Mullinax, Gary. Begin picture-perfect exhibition tour at DCCA. Sunday News Journal, July 15, 2001.
Bogaert, Pauline Pinard. Craft Forms exhibition in Wayne toasts original works by 76 artists." Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2000.
Hanzal, Carla. Objectivity: International Objects of Subjectivity. Virginia Beach: Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, 1997.
Zimmer, William. "Sprawling Works, 13 Sculptors." New York Times, May 4, 1997.
Scratch. New York: Thread Waxing Space, 1996.
Schon, Jurgen. "Rachel Selekman in Kaos-Galerie." Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger, May 18, 1996.
Ferris, Alison. "The Presence of Touch." Interrobang 2, no. 2, 1996.
Glatt, Cara. "Local art center stages winning exhibit." HP Herald, February 1, 1995.


1993 MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
1985 BFA, The Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD


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