Isabel Yellin (b. 1987 in New York City) received her Master’s in Painting from the Royal College of Arts, London, in 2014.
Isabel Yellin’s combinative works bear traces of complex personal histories. Constructed by superimposing and sewing together layers of distressed fabric the artist handpicked herself, they are highly tactile, their undulating folds soft and yielding. Muted colours harmonise with thin, acquiescent material. Her work is simultaneously sensory and sensitive, corporeally suggestive of interior spaces and domesticity.
The materials are key to Yellin’s practice: they are the medium through which she imbues everyday experiences in art with familiar connotations. The use of textile is particularly crucial in its evocative power. Clothes are something we deal with constantly – they are a second skin, a way we define our personality and present ourselves to others. Yellin combines these contrasting textures, loaded with uncanny memories, in compositions of fabric, ropes, acrylic paints, chains, hooks and scraps. The works, loosely hung on the wall as if on a clothesline, fold and drape out. Positioned on the thin line between painting and sculpture, they create an environment suggestive of a fascinating yet discomforting domesticity. Yellin explained to Fisk Frisk Magazine: "I am drawn to materials that either immediately trigger an attraction or a repulsion, both personally and universally. Fabric is loaded with connotations and innuendos. … Having this range of fabrics and materials on top of each other pokes at our inherent notions of taste and class that have a direct effect on our experience of the world".
The tactility of Yellin’s works relates to what she defines as the ‘liquidness’ and ‘transparency’ of modern life. Our daily existence takes place more and more online, in a digital environment characteriSed by a multi-faceted perception of our identity and place in the world. Yellin’s layered fabrics embody the complex and immaterial nature of our virtual experience in the form of tangible, highly suggestive art objects.