18 Sep 2018

Rena Detrixhe: Red Dirt Rug

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery

Reviewed by Olivia Kiers

With Red Dirt Rug, Tulsa-based artist Rena Detrixhe hauls dirt into Abigail Ogilvy Gallery's white-walled space in Boston. But rather than producing a mess, her installation is elegant and meditative. Detrixhe created her "rug" by smoothing finely sifted, rust-red soil - shipped from Oklahoma - across the floor, then stamping patterns into its surface with fragments of rubber soles sourced from second-hand shoes.

The play of light and shadow within Red Dirt Rug's three-dimensional patterning convincingly mimics the pixelated geometry of a woven carpet. Detrixhe's designs appear abstract at first glance, but careful looking reveals scenes from around Tulsa - oil derricks, Art Deco designs, and scissor-tailed flycatchers as well as other fauna and flora. Red Dirt Rug powerfully evokes the migrations and shifting fortunes of the American Midwest through a medium that is as ordinary, gritty, and yet poignantly ephemeral as history itself.

Exhibition Rena Detrixhe: Red Dirt Rug link
Start date 05 Sep 2018
End date 30 Sep 2018
Presenter Abigail Ogilvy Gallery link
Venue 460 Harrison Avenue, #C7, Boston, MA, USA map
Image Rena Detrixhe, Red Dirt Rug (detail), 2018, loose Oklahoma soil with modified shoe soles, 96 x 180 inches, courtesy of Abigail Ogilvy Gallery

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