EXHIBITION DATES  June 29 - August 13th, 2006

Jesse Reichek’s source for the 117 works in this series,

done between 1988–1990, was the

SONG OF SONGS

one painting for each line of the poem

The year-long Reichek Retrospective, containing nearly 2,000 of the 3,000 paintings produced between 1947–2005, closes with The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon. Written about 2,300 years ago, this is the first book of the Five Scrolls of the Hebrew Bible. It is full with words used but once, with obscure meanings, with riddles—much like the I Ching, the Kaballah, and the world’s myths. No other book of the Hebrew Bible has elicited such a variety of interpretations. This dialectic was surely part of its appeal to Reichek.

The poem is set in springtime in the city of Jerusalem. But this is no typical love story with a proper beginning and ending. It is a poem about erotic love and sexual attraction, about human pleasure, with no reference to any higher being. Eros before adulteration with Agape. Secular love. Unlike the Garden of Eden, which promises a future satisfaction, the Song of Songs celebrates the satisfaction of the lovers in the moment. The acts of Eros between humans, as partners in creation, and partners in paradise. The morphology of pure pleasure.

The paradise of Jesse and Laure Reichek included painting. The paintings, like the poem, rely on metaphor more than literal expression. The paintings, like the poem, offer a naïve picture of love, a fresh embrace, a richness of imagination, and an unrestrained expression. The paintings, like the poem, offer both locks and keys to creation. The passion of life’s structures and processes in painting.

Love not as a burden but as unrestrained pleasure. Lovers who love as equals. Painting and poem. Painter and viewer. In this poem, the love of the lovers requires no blessing or sanctification. The paintings require no title or explanation.

Reichek’s entire work of painting, as was his life, is offered to us as a lover, without restraint and without coercion. It presents a deep inquiry into the realms of imagination and creation that resist and defy explanation. These are the fruits of Reichek’s garden, his “mountains of spices.” So it was for Reichek, the way of a man who became a partner in creation.

Before he died Jesse placed a banner in his studio proclaiming the connection to Laure, “Made Possible by Laure.” Those of us who have attended these exhibitions can say to Jesse and Laure, none of this astounding engagement with the great human inquiries would have been possible without the both of you.

The Retrospective ends with a tribute to love and love is our tribute to Jesse Reichek.

Barry Weisberg
Chicago, Illinois, June 2006

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Some members of the core team who worked throughout the year to make it happen.
 


Saturday July 1, 2006 opening party
   

Song of Songs opening volunteers and friends dinner at Suzie S.'s Brown Bag Farms.

 

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