Katelyn Eichwald’s third solo exhibition at the gallery, Talisman, centers on personal items infused with magical properties: charms, amulets, gloves, gems, rings, and pendants. The word talisman has origins in the ancient Greek telesma, meaning “completion, religious rite, payment,” or “I complete, I perform a rite.”
Talismans have held a captivating allure throughout human history, transcending cultural boundaries and weaving a tapestry of beliefs and symbolism. These mystical objects, often imbued with supernatural properties, are cherished for their perceived ability to bring good luck, protection, or harm. Whether crafted from precious stones, engraved with ancient symbols, or passed down through generations, talismans carry a profound significance for those who possess them. The objects serve not only as physical artifacts but also as potent links connecting individuals to a realm of spiritual energies, fostering a sense of comfort and empowerment in the face of life's uncertainties.
The exhibition unveils a visual symphony of talismanic allure: luminous necklaces, spiral earrings, a ghostly rendering of gloves, an engraved belt buckle, enchanted (or cursed) eyes, hands of a necromancer, and a red gemstone that evokes the ritual properties of blood. It's as if these paintings transform into amuletic conduits themselves—their channels activated by the viewer who engages with them. Each work has been custom framed in wood and is accompanied by a brass plate engraved with the title of each painting. The titles of the paintings align with the mystical properties or curses bestowed upon each wearer. However, these titles intentionally refrain from providing conclusive answers to our curiosity.
Do they depict objects meant for protection and good luck, or do they serve as relics, evoking a sinister spiritual incantation?
Katelyn Eichwald (b. 1987 Chicago, IL) lives and works in Chicago, IL. The artist received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Champaign and an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Eichwald’s first solo exhibition, Good Boy, was at Fortnight Institute in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include Castles at Galerie Sultana, Paris, and a two-person exhibition at Cob Gallery, London. She has been included in international group exhibitions at Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London, Projet Pangée, Montreal, Canada, Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Rome, Italy, Dans les yeux d’Elsa Gallery & Gallery Mathilde le Coz, Paris, France, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo, Japan, Public Gallery, London, UK and Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia, PA.