EXHIBITION DATES  January 5th- February 19th, 2006


Jesse Reichek's sources for the 223 works in this series,
done between 1990 and 1994, were

CREATION MYTHS

For Jesse Reichek his painting was research on how to live. His interest in structure and process led him to I Ching and Kabbalah. (One of the earliest Kabbalah texts is the Sefer Yetzerah, or The Book of Creation.) Creation myths describe the original ordering of the uni   verse—the cosmogony of creation. Creation myths reflect how chaos becomes cosmos. The world's creation myths reveal both common themes and wondrous variations—as do these paintings. From 1990 through 1994 Reichek studied the world's myths of creation. By immersing himself in the stories of existence, Reichek continued his inquiry into the relationship of structure and process, a theme which occupied him for over fifty years.

All cultures have creation myths, born of a desire to understand the nature of the world, though some are more interested in issues of creation than others.  American Indian and Australian aboriginals speak of the natural origins of creation. Such themes emerge in the Babylonian Emun Elish; the Chinese cosmic egg or the myth of Pan-gu; the Indian Bhagavad Gita; the Buddhist mandala; the Navaho sand drawings; and the Mayan Popu Vuh. In Biblical Genesis there are nearly 50 references to myths of beginning, most of which can be traced to Egyptian or Babylonian origins.

Reichek's paintings do not seek to explain nor even to comment on a particular myth. Rather, they are the result of engaging a myth—they are responses, creations of the painter that continue the process of creation. The birth of each painting is thus connected to the birth of each myth, the birth of humanity, the origins of life, the emergence of the uni   verse, and that which was before. Intentionally moving beyond his experience, his purpose was not to gain understanding but to record the engagement. In his work Reichek would pause at a sentence, at a phrase, at a story, and convey his reactions in paint. The extraordinary variety of form and color, imaginative expression, emotional exuberance and suggestive symbols reveal the wondrous variety of the myths themselves and their mysteries—revealing something of creation which raises the question of our role in extending it.

Reichek's paintings offer a visual encyclopedia of human spiritual emergence.  With each question, each story, each painting, each viewer, humanity becomes a partner in creation.

                              Barry Weisberg
                                                                                                       
Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 2005

                                                                                                                                                     and
        
  Rabbi James Brandt

   Napa–Oakland, California, Nov. 2005

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The following photographs of the exhibition were taken by Jonathan Reichek:

                                       

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JESSE REICHEK RETROSPECTIVE  --- PARTNERS IN CREATION

Works from 1947 to 2005

Creators Equity Foundation
2324 blake street • Berkeley, ca • 94704
PHONE:  (510) 665-4209  •  FAX: (510) 665-4893
email:  reichek@dslextreme.com

website address:   www.reichek.org