Karin Weiner’s investigation of the western United States began at a residency in Wyoming in the summer of 2004. Absorbing the particulars of the region from gender politics to general attitudes, Weiner processed the experience of being in the midst of a male-dominated culture by codifying and feminizing it. Having accumulated a trove of images and materials, she employed practices associated with crafts and decorative arts, including collage, embroidery, and sewing. The resulting two and three-dimensional works are whimsical interpretations of human interaction in natural environments, simultaneously celebrating the natural world and exposing our ever distant relationship to it.

Trophy, a pile of soft, stitched antlers casting an artificial, vinyl shadow, references similar heaps found in the front yards of modern day cowboys. While the latter symbolize the success of the hunt and the virility of the male provider, Weiner’s cushions point to our increasing reliance on the comforts of modern domesticity and allude to the true provider of household stability. In the side gallery, stuffed clouds made of fabric and ticking create faux precipitation and broadcast local forecasts. Mocking our cultural reliance on technology and scientific fact over the unpredictability of instinct and sense, they are substitutions for substance, much like small talk about the weather. Likewise, Campfire Karaoke replaces the nostalgic campfire with a television set screening country-western karaoke. The gallery walls surrounding these sculptural installations are hung with large-scale collages featuring lassoing housewives, a cascading waterfall of vibrant flowers, a vast mushroom-covered terrain, and 3-dimensional mandalas of beast and fowl.

Frontiera is Weiner’s second solo exhibition with ZieherSmith. Her Los Angeles debut recently concluded at Sixspace, and her work has also been featured in group shows at galleries including Clementine Gallery and McKenzie Fine Art in New York, Galerie Quang in Paris, and Lisa Boyle Gallery, Chicago. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2003 and now lives and works in Brooklyn.

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