Karen Reimer

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Karen Reimer

I’d be interested in continuing to work in the way that I did for the previous Not Just Another Pretty Faces that I participated in. My works were conceptually specific to the people that commissioned me. The artworks are tailored to fit in their homes, and are most fully understandable in the context of their personal lives. 

In one case, I was commissioned by a couple. I based the piece on the fact that they were 12 years apart in age. I embroidered lists of twelves—a dozen eggs, a dozen roses, the months of the year, the twelve days of Christmas, and so forth—onto their existing household linens, and then replaced them in whatever space in the house they were normally kept—closets and cupboards, etc. So in the couple’s stack of napkins, for example, there is one that has an embroidered list on it. When they come to that napkin, they may decide to use it or just put it back in the stack. 

The other commission I did was for a family home. A beautiful tree that was in their front yard and visible from the large window beside their dining table, died of waterlogged roots and had to be cut down.  I made a curtain for their window and embroidered an image of the lost tree on it, as well as some scattered information about trees’ tolerance to flooding. With the light shining through the window, the embroidery becomes a sort of transparent ghost tree, a visual memory.

Working on the basis of personal commission allows me to explore a potential relationship to art that I am interested in: Not one of hanging it on a wall and contemplating it, but rather one of having it potentially or actually be useful, as household linens or decor or tools, touchable as well as seeable. I’d like to create artworks that one can know in the same intimate, tactile way one would other household items, in addition to knowing it as a visual artwork. 

Karen Reimer







For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at mnelson@hydeparkart.org or 773.324.5520 x1014.