NARRATIVE THREAD - Narrative Thread - Wexler Gallery

Narrative Thread

March 2, 2012 through April 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA- In correlation with Fiber Philadelphia 2012, Wexler Gallery will proudly present Narrative Thread, a group exhibition exploring innovative stitching and assemblage techniques. The exhibition will address multiple interpretations of identity, story telling, domestic work, and domestic objects. Featured artists will include Diem Chau, Orly Cogan, Flore Gardner, Erin Endicott, and Donna Rosenthal. *An opening reception will take place on First Friday, March 2nd from 5 – 8 pm.


The show will take place on the second floor of the gallery and will run from March 2nd through April 28th. Additional information about Fiber Philadelphia 2012 can be found at


Diem Chau combines common mediums and common means to create delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of storytelling, myths and its ability to connect us to each other through cultural and humanistic similarities. Chau’s current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to retain.


A Vietnam native, the artist and her family came to America as refugees in 1986. Chau is a BFA graduate from Cornish College of the Arts and has received an Artist Trust GAP Grant and a PONCHO Artist-in-Residence Award. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles. Her work was also recently featured in Jaztapoz’ book titled “Handmade” from 2010.


New York City based embroidery artist Orly Cogan’s work deals with tradition, history, fantasy, and folklore, while exploring ideas about intimacy, relationships, and gender roles. Starting with vintage textiles and found fabrics (including bed sheets, pillow cases, handkerchiefs, and more), the artist stitches complicated narrative scenes, often depicting multiple nude figures on a personal and symbolic journey. According to the artist, the work evolves from Cogan’s own “personal mythologies” and memories, “collapsing time and history as the past combines with the present.”


Born in Jaffa, Israel in 1971, Cogan has a BFA from the Maryland Institute Collage of Art and has studied at The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science & Art in New York. The artist has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally; highlights include The Museum of Art + Design in New York, The Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, The Riverside Museum of Art in California, and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. Cogan’s work has also been reviewed in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, Art News, Interior Design, Elle, Miami Times, W Magazine, Fiber Arts, Time Out Chicago, New York, and more.


Scottish born artist Flore Gardner embroiders found vintage photographs to create new narratives, alternate meanings, and symbolic connotations for preexisting images. Working with methods such as hand-stitching with thread and painting with gouache, much of the artist’s work deals with the idea of “In-between-ness.” According to the artist, this concept relates to Gardner’s own “nomadism between two countries (France and Britain) and two languages, a double seeing and thinking.” The idea of the “double” is present throughout the artist’s extensive body of work, at the center of which is the artist’s own collection of hundreds of found photographs, magazines, texts and old drawing papers. Gardner feels that “looking at these is like looking through someone else’s eyes, someone from the past; they are “uncanny” (Unheimlich) – very familiar yet strange.”


Gardner has a PhD in Fine Art from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Masters degree from Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier & Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, and an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University in Modern Languages. Her non traditional craft-based embroidery work and photo-based work has shown internationally throughout the UK, France, Germany, and China. Old Souls will be the artist’s second exhibition in the USA. Gardner currently lives and works in Avington, France and Sutherland, Scotland.


Donna Rosenthal is a sculptor and storyteller investigating the complicated nature of relationships, gender roles, and social positions. Using methods such as crocheting, knitting, sewing, and gluing, the artist works with found and fabricated materials such as vintage romance novels, comic book pages, steel wire and hardware cloth. Primarily working with the cultural symbolism of clothing, Rosenthal often incorporates narrative text elements into her work as social commentary, bringing the entrenched habits of daily ritual into the public forum. Interested in how “personal perceptions and romantic interactions have been eternally influenced by society and culture,” the artist seeks to explore the connection between historical and societal pressures, as well as the struggle between the external and internal self.


Rosenthal was born in New Haven, Connecticut where her parents owned a display store filled with unusual craft materials and unique consumer goods. The artist credits these objects with triggering her imagination as a child and later influencing her interpretation of material culture. The artist has an MFA in Mixed Media Sculpture from Long Island University, CW. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums on a national level, recent highlights include SOFA Chicago 2011 and Art Miami 2009. She presently lives and works in New York City.


Erin Endicott utilizes stitching and ink to “draw” on found fabrics, objects which the artist believes hold power because of their age and anthropomorphic wisdom. Many of the vintage fabrics on which the artist embellishes have been passed down from women in her own family over generations; her personal history is literally is woven into these garments. Her most recent series titled “Healing Sutras” tell stories of pain remembered and solace found, creating a virtual map of her personal journey through life. Exploring the idea of both physical and psychological wounds through a contemplative stitching and ink staining process, the artist mediates on the origins of these traumas, behaviors, patterns, and reactions– often already seeded into our psyche at birth.


Endicott earned a BFA in Textile Design from Moore Collage of Art & Design in Philadelphia after a weaving apprenticeship in Coldstream, Scotland. Her work has shown in group and solo exhibitions across the globe. Most recently the artist was the recipient of the 2011 Wind Challenge Exhibition, which culminated in a solo show at Fliesher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. The artist presently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.


Fascinated by the notion of challenging traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that can coexist in the worlds of design, fine art, decorative art and craft. By questioning and challenging the boundaries of these fields, we aim to present functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation. Unified by a commitment to excellent craftsmanship and true dedication to their art, we are proud to showcase some of the world’s most esteemed artists working in their areas of pursuit.