The fat canary journal
featured artist: may 2019 by Virginia mallon
excerpt: Rachel credits a childhood spent exploring her mother’s office at the African Art Department of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, for her “archeological” approach to art. We see this influence as she unearths facets of Americana through paintings inspired by found photographs. In this way, she launches a narrative with an “unknowable multitude frozen in time”, to create a dialogue as quintessentially American as lawn chairs, formica and beehive hairdos.
The esthetic apostle
“Opacity and the family album” July 2018
Excerpt: Rachel Ahava Rosenfeld is an oil painter living and working on the north side of Chicago. Originally from Kansas City, she has pursued her passion for oil painting through study at the Jerusalem Studio School, and research in Germany, Italy, France, and Ireland. Additionally, she received a B.A. in Studio Art from Hollins University, and M.F.A in Visual Arts from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
MFA Catalog 2016
Included alongside classmates in pamphlet describing studio practices among graduate students at the sam fox school of art and design at washington university in st. louis. essay written by emmett catedral, photographs by jonathan p. berger.
Excerpt: “Her paintings invite the viewer to see a story that never existed, reminding her audience of the inherent fallibility of memory. the anonymous nature of the work allows for projection and subconscious personal authorship of the paintings’ interpretations. Though the scenes depicted are fictions, they become real when beheld as the viewer and the work seek mutual completion of the shared narratives (pg. 40).”
“Featured artist interview: rachel rosenfeld” june 2017 by anna buckner
Excerpt: “The tension is a feeling that I think is pretty common to people like me, whose familial histories are absent, especially when parts of those histories have intentionally been withheld. It’s the notion that our culture, in my case American (or more specifically Midwestern, perhaps) culture tells us that it is healthy to be nostalgic. It is healthy to miss our parents’ and grandparents’ America. The tension manifests when one is forced to confront the problems that one’s family inevitably faced as they lived out these untold stories in the America that we are allegedly nostalgic for. The tension, I guess, is the knowledge that we are supposed to miss something that we know must have been problematic, without ever knowing exactly what those problems were. Trying to find these stories can be like knowing that a play is happening, but when you pull the velvet curtain aside there is a brick wall between you and the actors. Here we find the nature of history itself. The voices floating over the wall entice you with story scraps, but the brick wall won’t budge. I know that is a long answer, I your question basically embodies the monstrosity that is my MFA thesis. Svetlana Boym clarified this all with an impressive level of clarity when she discussed the concept of “Reflective Nostalgia” in her brilliant book The Future of Nostalgia.”