In this Artspace edition, Case Histories, artist and practicing psychiatrist Martin Wilner expands and evolves his decade-long project Making History, in which he creates highly-detailed, diaristic drawings based on the monthly calendar. Meticulously rendered in black pen through a regimented series of single-step variations, Wilner’s images incorporate elements of cartography, music, cartoon, and micrography, transforming the passage of time into a visual labyrinth of personal narrative.
After a decade of Making History, in 2012 Wilner substituted making his own daily selections of subject matter for his drawings by inviting an array of subjects, from composer John Zorn, and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, to his former psychoanalyst, to act in his stead on a monthly basis. Each day they would send him what was of pressing interest to them, pushing each drawing into new and different terrain. The works became portraits of a state of mind in a discrete period of time—the result of a study of the evolution of the relationship in correspondence over the course of each month. What began as an additional parameter in his work process evolved into an entirely new phase of the project, Case Histories, wherein a new level of artistic creation, as well as elements of Wilner’s psychoanalytic practice, are integrated in an exciting and highly original manner.