Rebecca Wheeler's Découpage
March 16 - April 28, 2007
Découpage featured new work by Oklahoma artist Rebecca Wheeler. Wheeler created non-traditional collages of cloth, lace, clothing, fabric flowers, rhinestones and sequins on linen, ranging in size from 12" by 12" to 72" by 60".
The works in Découpage explored memory, nostalgia, femininity and collective history. In cutting and gluing these scraps of fabric, Wheeler both re-enacted the traditionally feminine tasks of embroidery and quilting, and subverted them—she used glue, not thread, and she tore and layered the found objects to form both abstract and recognizable shapes.
In 2007, Untitled [ArtSpace] celebrated the Oklahoma centennial with explorations of contemporary art with connections to Oklahoma. Découpage features the most recent work of Oklahoma City artist Rebecca Wheeler. Her unique collages of cloth, lace, rhinestones and other ephemera on European linen will delight and evoke the experience of browsing her mother’s eccentric used clothing store, Sparkle Plenty. Rosalind Miller created magic, and when walking through her doors it felt like being in Soho, happening upon the find of a lifetime. Wheeler is revisiting those days and creating the liveliest work I have seen in recent time. By cutting and gluing these scraps of fabric and sewing notions, she explores memory, nostalgia and femininity, both paying homage to and subverting the traditionally feminine tasks of sewing and quilting.
In the 1970s, Wheeler spent time in Paris and New York studying with such prestigious artists as the late Nam June Paik, Jose de Creeft, Elaine de Kooning and Wayne Thiebaud. Wheeler also spent time in California working with printmaker Carol Summers, Her relationship with Summers inspired a long exploration with mono-prints. Wheeler was fortunate to work with these artists and use that experience to develop her own unique voice in contemporary art. In Découpage, I see Rebecca come full circle, using her love of textures to revisit her family history and personal adventures through her collection of antique fabrics.