Project no.216

Rachel Tauber

Seam Line

Chief Curator: Rachel Sukman

Exhibition Curator: Galit Semel

Opening: Thursday, 13 February 2020, 7 p.m.

Closing: Thursday, 5 March 2020, 4 p.m.

6 Zamenhoff St. , Tel Aviv, tel.: 03-5254191
Gallery hours: Tue.- Thurs.
12 noon - 6p.m.; Fri. 11a.m.- 2 p.m.





Pincusion, 2017
Marble Stone and Metal
20x20x14 cm

Lacemaker, 2017
Marble Stone and Metal Replica Watches
66x16x60.3 cm

Experimental Desktop, 2016
Marble Stone Metal and Leather
4.5x26.5x25.5 cm

Unfinished Work, 2018
Marble Stone and Metal
70x38.5x16 cm


Lace with Triangle-Shape Drillings, 2019
Marble Stone and Metal
30x13x42 cm

First Embroidery, 2017
Marble Stone and Metal
72x48x10 cm

Pillar of Ties, 2018
Marble Stone and Metal and rope
75x19x19 cm


Stitch, 2019
Marble Stone and Metal
15x26x75 cm

Variation, 2019
Marble Stone and Metal
150x35x13 cm

Sewing Box, 2018
Marble Stone and Metal
45x54.5x30.5 cm

Variation on Zipper, 2019
Marble Stone and Metal
150x35x13 cm


Rachel Tauber

Seam Line

Curator: Galit Semel

The inspiration for Tauber's new sculpture series came from her mother-in-law's sewing box where there are endless remains, parts of hem, lace and the like, associated with living and clothing frameworks that no longer exist. This exhibition is a kind of inner journey, combining the collection and preservation of belongings by her mother-in-law with Tauber's ongoing pursuit of her identity as an artist, an identity reflected by leaving work tools immortalized in the sculptures.

The works in this exhibition mainly combine stone and iron, steel fiber, as well as additions of ropes, yarns or leather straps, thus creating a dialogue between different materials and diverse textures, including different fabrics of lace, knitting and sewing within the stone, expressed in chiseling, drilling or perforating the surface of the stone or adding other elements to it. Many contradictions emerge in the sculptures ? space vs mass, weight vs air, light vs shadow, rhythm vs uniformity, textures vs flatness, black vs white .

Stone has employed Tauber over the years in diverse variations . At the core of her work lies the idea of an object appropriated from its original-useful purpose by another functional use that has expanded its conceptual essence . Giving the new identity to the sculpture enables Tauber to reveal its vulnerability and softness hidden beneath the material hard substrate. She embroiders in the hard stone by piercing or drilling holes that simulate textiles and fine lace and through them raises questions of gender and society.

One may divide the sculptures in the exhibition into two groups: some of the works present ready-made metals (nails, fretsaws, drills, various fasteners and a bed spring), compared to works with handmade handled metals. The remains of objects represent the lifespan of objects in our contemporary consumer culture. The action of memory preservation of objects in the stone also relates to the eternal nature of the stone . In addition, Tauber also preserves nostalgia for handicrafts and skills of connecting that are almost extinct in the world .

The stones used by Tauber for her sculptures come from a local factory for the production of gravestones, and she chose to work on an Israelite Hebron marble . The stones come in customary sizes and hence undergo by her a transformation of formal and functional change . The massive work on each sculpture sometimes takes several months . The material change and additions to each sculpture impart a kind of vitality and transform the clean, cold and sterile tombstone into a hot processed mass that has changed its purpose . The stiff and industrial stone has become delicate, soft, and domestic. The hard stuff that symbolizes death has become life-filled.

Tauber's works excel in a deep understanding of the properties of the material and the texture of the stone . She reprocesses the stone, changes its meaning and appropriates it from its original condition to another vocation. Tauber handles the stone like a handwork. For her, the stone is a handwork in every sense . Just as embroidery is considered one-time, so is its sculpture in stone considered one-time .

Tauber tests the limits of the material ? the edge of being able to utilize the surface without crossing the border and causing fractures or cracks in the stone . Stone chiseling is considered a masculine craft, but Tauber appropriates it to describe a work that has always been considered feminine and delicate. Embroidery, knitting and sewing have received an up-to-date visual interpretation of stone sculpture, based on visual deception as well as on language and form research .

Tauber uses an ancient technique of crafts to create a contemporary statement in another material. The use of craftsmanship techniques to create contemporary art is not new. The feminist art of the 1970s and 1980s largely drew its inspiration from what people considered women's crafts. However, the objects used by Tauber to represent female crafts typically represent the tough masculine facet that uses massive drills for chiseling and construction . She is always in search of contrasts, such as between constructive and decorative, and between masculinity and femininity.

Lace work has always raised questions related to wealth and status at the expense of exploiting weak and disadvantaged populations . The gaps between the long time and precise work it took to prepare it, compared to earning abilities and the price at which it was sold, as early as it was invented in Venice during the Renaissance, raise significant social questions.

The lace is a handicraft linked in human memory to home and especially to grandmother's house. Usually, lace is perceived as a feminine, homey and sensual decorative object . It is used to decorate clothes in general, female sleepwear, tablecloths, various napkins, handkerchiefs, curtains, and more. Although initially both men and women wore lace, which decorated collars and sleeves . At various times, wearing a lace as decoration for collars and sleeves symbolized aristocratic status and testimony for good taste. Wedding dresses are usually embellished with lace or made entirely of lace fabric. In the 19th and mid-20th centuries, closet shelves were also decorated with special lace stripes.

The works allude to ancient traditions of stone laces, which can be found, for example, in the sculpture of Pope Urban VIII, sculpted by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini 1 in 1635-40 . The works also allude to the glorious and lace decorated burial culture of 16th-century Spanish kings and nobles, who were sculpted in fancy garments, as well as laces of the mudejar style, 2 architectural lace decorations in stone that were mostly common in Spain.

In the "Lacemaker" statue, Tauber uses a lace element taken from a 17th-century Spanish painting of Queen Margarete of Austria by Bartolom? Gonz?lez . 3 Iron drills, which function in this case as threads, were engraved in the stone under this segment. The sculpture is named "Lacemaker", inspired by the famous painting by Vermeer 4 with the same name from 1669-70 . In this painting, Vermeer described a domestic, feminine scene at the front of the picture, of a woman engaged in the creative process itself in a poetry of silence. Tauber, too, discusses the creative-artistic pursuit, which has always been considered feminine, however, the very combination of stonework and chiseling raises contemporary gender questions about the nature of female/masculine crafts accepted today in the 21 st century.

In the "Pillar of Ties" statue, Tauber incorporates a building iron rod, an iron wire, and a rope, and ties them together with macram? ties and blanket stitches .

In the "First Embroidery" statue, Tauber creates a puzzle game. The stone carvings were created by the methods used by the Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi. 5 The sculpture was cut by "surgical cuts," according to her definition, similar to puzzle pieces that could connect precisely to each other. On the two stone surfaces, she laid an iron mesh that creates a ventilated contrast to the heavy massive stone. Shadows of light penetrate the web and create an interesting game of shadow-light, mass-transparency, open-closed, space-volume .

In the "Sewing Box" statue, too, Tauber used the puzzle game, combined with a motif of fretsaws by which she cut the top of the stone. The fretsaws, forming a fan of lines, remained as evidence of the exact work that examines the boundaries of the material .

In the "Pincushion" statue, Tauber used elements of nails that simulate a cushion and sewing pins. This was accompanied by a delicate work of holes that made a delicate lace ribbon . Differences in the texture of the stone are expressed in the sensations of matte and gloss .

In the "Lace with Bobbin" statue, the small triangular stone addition looks like the past weights of lace threads . The lace threads, tied with weights in the past, made it easier to weave.

The "Unfinished Work" statue shows an exact work of drilling that created a variety of holes simulating fine embroidery . Like in an embroidery work that has not yet been completed, the coiled thread is left as evidence of a work in progress . The embroidery work that was supposedly not finished was only created on part of the surface .

The sculptures also feature a humorous facet, reflected in the "Variation on Zipper" statue, created from the combining of a two visual languages . The connecting elements include metal parts like a door hinge, a connection of a tap to a wall, a clasp, and a cabinet hinge ? connections that do not necessarily fit the zipper function . The drills create an accurate rhythm.

In the "Experimental Desktop" statue, there is a "reality" from her mother-in-law's sewing box, remnants of life, places and people, who no longer exist, to which she added a sculpted pleated hem, a piece of the many leftovers found in the box .

In the "Stitch" statue, a bed spring serves as a visual metaphor for the stitch, like a stitching thread, connecting the three perpendicular parts to the laid long stone. The pattern added to the stone is taken from the Ajour technique, 6 used to create napkins and lace tablecloths.

In t he " Lace with Triangle-Shape Drillings " statue , the stone stretched to the limit of its ability to hold itself with holes that pass from side to side in great density to create a lace pattern. The iron, shaped as half a circle, resembles half a hand-knit crochet. The two elements of the sculpture, with the different holes pattern of each one, interact with each other .

Sculpture in stone requires many qualities, such as commitment, sincerity, seriousness and professionalism. Stonework requires patience and planning, and it takes a long time to execute. Tauber loves the discoveries that take place at work and, consequently, the new insights that lead to unexpected new solutions . She seeks to stretch the boundaries of the material toward new districts that do not obey the traditional stonework. She takes the material out of its context into a new and contradictory context, which raises questions and encourages the viewer to take a deeper look .

The seam line lies between the edges of the work, between the accurate chiseling of the rigid stone and the delicate textures created by the drill holes. Behind the beauty hides a constant game between discovery and cover-up, between presence and absence. Her works reveal an aesthetic complexity of doing . Much labor is evident on the one hand, but on the other hand, the works convey clean and sterile.


1. Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini was one of the most important sculptors of the Baroque period in Italy . The statue is decorated with special lace work on the sleeves and hem of the pope's dress.

2. The mudejar art, expressed in Spain's architecture mainly between the 12th and 16th centuries, incorporated Christian, Jewish and Muslim elements in various fields of art, but its main imprint was in the architecture of the Iberian Peninsula .

3. Bartolom? Gonz?lez y Serrano was a Spanish Baroque period painter, specializing in painting portraits .

4. Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch?Baroque period painter , who specialized in domestic interior scenes of?middle class life.

5. Isamu Noguchi was a great Japanese-American artist, sculptor, designer, and landscape architect from the 1920s to the 1980s. He is famous for his sculptures and public works .

6. A?needlework technique in which portions of a textile , typically cotton or linen, are cut away and the resulting "hole" is reinforced and filled with embroidery or needle lace .