Rachel Klinghoffer‘s colorful sculptures use everyday refuse to confront the act of remembering

Suspended in my Masquerade | Rachel Klinghoffer

January 25th – March 29th, 2020

Ortega Y Gasset Projects, The Skirt

363 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Opening Reception: 6-9pm on Saturday January 25

Sat – Sunday: 1:00PM – 6:00 PM

Press Contact: Alexandra Fanning Communications / alex@alexandrafanning.com / (347) 468-0735

Rachel Klinghoffer, Details of There Should Be Unicorns, Used house paint cans from renovating our home, our broken coffee grinder, one of the vintage boots I wore all through undergrad, balloon from bringing daughter home from hospital, balloons from daughter’s first and second birthday, wrapping paper from daughters Hanukah gift, leather from friend, scrap piece of fabric from tie husband wore to our wedding, pieces of sliced quartz from friend, earing and bra from collector, sleeve from husband’s old button down, shell from parents trip to Antigua, pin from my maternal grandmother, emeralds, rubies, diamonds, opals, vintage pins, costume engagement ring, fake pearls and coral necklace from uncle, rocks from RISD beach, paillettes, mahjong tile, buttons and drink stir from 1940’s nightclub from paternal grandmother, magnet from trip to Sorento with husband, elephant earing my sister and I wore at camp, plastic disco ball necklace and plastic peace sign earing from my bat mitvah, leftover metallic nail materials from friend, Buddhist red jade necklace from friend from undergrad, yitzkor tin stars of David, felt from old sculpture, pieces of husbands ripped jeans, piece of sombrero from honeymoon in Mexico, sand dollar from Long Beach Island, NJ, bird necklace I used to wear in middle school, part of broken crystal menorah, leftover glitter from making birthday cards, leftover wire from old sculpture, imprint from knitted doily from husbands great grandmother, magic sculpt, encapso k, fabric glue, metallic powders, acrylic ,spray paint, varnish, 42 x 19 x 9 inches

(New York, NY, DEC 2019) – To open the new year The Skirt at Ortega Y Gasset Projects is thrilled to present Suspended in my Masquerade a solo exhibition of new work by multi-disciplinary artist Rachel Klinghoffer. Melding personal ephemera; used lingerie and designer footwear, costume jewelry, religious relics and Hanukkah decorations with old paint brushes, children’s toys, souvenirs and studio refuse, she creates prismatic, self-narrative vessels investigating nostalgia, ritual, memory, and the act of remembering

Suspended in my Masquerade, referencing a lyric from Springsteen’s Growin’ Up, investigates the complex rituals surrounding memory and sentimental objects. Driven by a strong emotional connection to her family, friends and community, Klinghoffer pays homage to the past by literally suspending those personal items in time and space, imploring viewers to excavate. Simultaneously organic and alien-like, her sculptural forms are covered, surface textures obliterated and then exquisitely adorned with small embedded objects of personal significance. Surface colors reference the Romantics, particularly the Hudson River School with its emphasis on the subtleties and range of light. Her laboriously manipulated sculptural shapes hint at everyday objects including pre-loved sneakers, repurposed precious and semiprecious stones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds, even diamonds. Closer inspection allows for explanation of the greater meanings designated to each item. Materials lists read like memories, items like “one of the vintage boots I wore all through undergrad”, and “coral necklace from uncle”. 

This new series of work incorporates the craft of memory glass-making into the sculptures, a popular activity for girls during the time of Klinghoffer’s own bat mitzvah celebrations. Titles of the works are pulled from the lyrics of her playlists. As with her work, she pulls from what already exists in the world. Individual pieces take their names from The Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Beatles, Tom Petty, Drake, Paul Simon, Phish, TV on the Radio, and so on. By repurposing materials, making and remaking them into paintings and sculptures, she prompts a reimagining of uses for these relic-like objects. Articles reflect the artist’s personal connection to femininity, craft-making, Judaism, romance, pushing the definition of painting. Through time, the items become specimens, icons. They are poked, prodded, stained, sprayed, stroked, rubbed, dipped, then pulled, torn, cracked open and broken apart making up and becoming the new work.

Rachel Klinghoffer lives and works in South Orange NJ. She received her MFA in Painting with honors from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and a BFA in Painting, Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited with Zero Zero, LA; Ballast Projects, Alt Esc, BK; SPRING/BREAK, Cuevas Tilleard, NY; The Willows, NY; Fjord Gallery, PA; Interface Gallery, CA; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, PA; Ms. Barber’s, LA; Trestle Projects, BK; NURTURE Art, BK; Thomas Haeckel Gallery, NY; Projekt722, BK; NARS Foundation, NY; Samson Projects, MA. Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Rail, New American Paintings, Hyperallergic, Title Magazine, Vice, and Observer Arts named her one of the most promising names on the scene.


"the surface on her sculptures are surprisingly detailed with small embedded objects, which can only be discovered when viewed up close"
"Klinghoffer’s sculptural constructions become fragile, Frankenstein artifacts of the process by which they are made, their marbled plaster-like surfaces holding a strange relationship to the authenticity we reserve especially for the historied object. "
"On occasion, these component parts take on greater personal significance; the materials list for Rachel Klinghoffer’s sculptural work reads as follows: “Used paint brushes, shells collected by friends, nieces and nephew from Long Beach Island NJ, balloons from daughters first and second birthday, leather from friend, amethyst quartz, opals, sapphires, rubies, diamond, costume engagement ring, fake pearls from uncle, leftover glitter from making birthday cards, leftover wire from old sculpture, magic sculpt, metallic powders, acrylic, fabric glue, spray paint, varnish”. "

Select Images

Artist Portraits