Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Open Access

Project Type

MA Project - Curatorial Proposal

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Kathy Battista

Second Advisor

Stephan Pascher


WhiteBox Harlem is thrilled to present Subversive Stitch, a group exhibition featuring female contemporary artists that work in textiles, curated by Kimberly Reinagel. Presented at this show will be works by Eozen Agopian, Alexandria Deters, Zhen Guo, Lisa Kellner, Mariana Garibay Raeke, Kimberly Reinagel, Leila Seyedzadeh, Victoria Udondian and Christina Whitney Wong. This exhibition will look at the societal reassignment of the textile in the art market. Textiles throughout history have been primarily considered a "feminine" medium. Fabrics, fashion, embroidery and tapestry all connote a feminine background, and have thus notoriously not been received with much gravity. This exhibition is here to prove that the textile medium carries just as much clout and strength in the art world at large as any other male-dominated medium does.

The title of the show is an homage to feminist and writer Rozsika Parker and her book “The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine”1 . In this book Parker investigates the art of embroidery and how this craft was elevated from private female domesticity into the fine arts, a movement which fostered the increasing growth of the craft movement in the art world. Embroidery to this day is still primarily considered a feminine medium, but one that is no less subversive, innovative, and political than any other art medium. This exhibition will bring together female artists from a range of cultural backgrounds, who work in textile mediums in a display of artistic strength.

These artists tackle the themes of culture, identity, displacement, feminism, economics and a responsibility to the truth of material through their work. This group of artists represent diversity and what the textile means as it is carried through the atmosphere of their respective backgrounds. In this exhibition, China, Iran, Nigeria, Greece, United States, Thailand, and Mexico will all share a unique and yet collaborate voice through textiles. Victoria Udondian examines the role of second hand clothes in the economics of Nigerian life. Zhen Guo uses female biology to narrate a meaning that changes with age which every woman undergoes. Leila Seyedzadeh reconstructs the Iranian mountainsides from her home country from memory, Christina Whitney Wong looks at medical apartheid in America, and creates the patterns which she hand weaves from algorithms based on those medical studies, and Alexandria Deters focuses on female empowerment through the embracing of our vibrantly different yet truly beautiful bodies. Every single thread in this space holds within it a deeper story.

During this exhibition, funds will be collected on a donation basis, and a portion of all artwork sales will go to support the programming of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, a New York based organization that provides a safe haven, as well as programs in the arts, sciences, leadership, entrepreneurship, and wellness for girls in middle and high school. The Lower Eastside Girls Club aims to break the cycle of poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental female leaders.

This exhibition is on view at WhiteBox Harlem from October 19th - 31st, 2019.