A Subversive Aesthetic

Nava Lubelski

My work is based on processes of stitching and staining. Stretched canvases are spattered with drips and splotches. These organic shapes become a pattern to be sewn over and around, the thread transforming modern art's "drip" into something new and unfamiliar. The juxtaposition of the random, fluid shapes, highly suggestive of speed and viscous movement, with the detailed and labor-intensive structure of the stitching, both liberates threadwork from its traditional dependence on functionality, decoration and order, and simultaneously feminizes these aggressive forms, which are normally associated with the most unapologetically macho of 20th century artists.

I consider these shapes to be, not abstractions, but rather actual representation of stains and spills as they appear in painting, in the home and in the urban landscape. The work is a process of mending. Stains are unredeemable, problematic or shameful and it has traditionally been a woman's job to attempt to eradicate them or otherwise discard the "ruined" item. My process of redeeming these stains through enhancing, decorating, elevating or rehabilitating is about understanding why we dismiss or embrace certain ideas, forms or media.

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