Featured Review: Kristin Fleischmann: Absences and Obsessions

Featured Review: Kristin Fleischmann: Absences and Obsessions Using canvas, loose threads and other raw fabrics, Washington University MFA candidate Fleischmann outfits her thesis exhibition, a meditation on compulsion and loss. In Flirt, a impressionistic abstract painting with ghostly imprints of lace and spare brushy color, a stitch line divides the canvas, while three fence posts arranged on the gallery floor extend the work's diffuse purview. Invoking Virginia Woolf's seminal feminist essay, A Silk Worm of One's Own cordons off space with tangled white threads that dangle from the ceiling in mud-smeared clumps or writhe freely in space. A video piece, entitled I Breathe, I Walk, features the artist narrating her interior thoughts while stitching her hand into a chiffon silk glove. Rather than absences and obsessions, the work seems to speak of being either bound or liberated, the array of rough or delicate fabrics alternately beset by imposed weight or set loose on the whims of their lightness. In the final installation, Longing, a series of sleeve-like stitched pieces crop up from or slump onto the gallery floor; filled to varying levels of fullness with plaster, they too wrestle with the burdens of fixed form and formlessness. Through June 5 at the Craft Alliance Gallery (Grand Center), 501 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-7528 or www.craftalliance.org. Hours: noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun.

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