Karen Reimer primarily works in sculpture, language, and site-specific installation. In most instances, her work combines the traditions of minimalism and conceptual art and the traditions of decorative craft. She uses handwork in the context of systems-based, serial, and chance operations. Reimer works to establish something more complex, more ambiguous, more symbiotic than the traditional oppositional binary relationships that ground so much of our culture. By combining the tactics and aesthetics of conceptual art with the tropes of domestic decoration, Reimer pushes concept and material, art and labor, language and linens, experience and representation, the map, and the walk, into the same space.
Reimer (b. 1958, Kansas) received her BA from Bethel College, North Newton, KS and an MFA from the University of Chicago. Recent solo and group exhibitions include moniquemeloche presents..., Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN (2022), The Map vs The Walk, Salina Art Center, Salina, KS (2022); Human/Nature, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago, IL (2022); Outside In, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2019); Unraveled, Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, (2016); Shoretime Spaceline, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2016); Material Gestures: Cut, Weave, Sew, Knot, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (2014); Wall Text, Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago (2012); Endless Set, Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago (2012); and Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, (2012). She is a recipient of the Artadia and Driehaus Foundation Individual Artist Awards, and the Women’s Caucus for Art’s President’s Award. Endless, —the first major publication on Karen’s pioneer craft aesthetic—was published by Gallery 400 and WhiteWalls in 2015.
Public collections include The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, IL. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.