When This You See
by Elaine Reichek and David Frankel

April, 2000
Hardcover, 88 pages
11.4 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches

ISBN: 0807614602
$35.00 (Can. $52.50)


This book features a 1996-1999 series of thirty-one embroidered samplers by contemporary American artist Elaine Reichek. Traditionally, samplers framed truisms, homiles, and lessons within decorative patterns and motifs, but Reicheck replaces these familiar sayings with witty combinations of quotations from mythology, literature, science, art history, and popular culture. The astonishing results operate on myriad levels ranging from societal critiques, to male-female relations, to questioning the meaning of art, and in so doing, they challenge the austerity of "high" art with humor and sophistication.

"Elaine Reichek delights in making ideas material--in endowing them with the delicate physicality found in the medium of embroidery. Using this form of handwork, she lays bare a fabric of beliefs and preconceptions about aesthetics, and about culture more generally, by examining the images, texts, and objects that such conceptions have shaped." -- Beth Handler, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Modern Art

Elaine Reichek studied at Brooklyn College and Yale University; her work has been shown extensively in museums and galleries in Europe and America, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. She lives in New York. David Frankel is an editor in the Department of Publications of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is also a contributing editor at Artforum magazine, where he was a senior editor for many years. He is the author of Masterpieces: The Best Loved Paintings from American Museums.