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Main Gallery and Drawing Room Oct 11, 2019 - Jan 05, 2020

The Pencil Is a Key

Drawings by Incarcerated Artists

\\Azza Abo Rebieh (1980–), //Nayfeh//, 2016. Pencil on paper. Collection of the artist, Beirut. \\Azza Abo Rebieh (1980–), //Nayfeh//, 2016. Pencil on paper. Collection of the artist, Beirut. \\Azza Abo Rebieh (1980–), //Nayfeh//, 2016. Pencil on paper. Collection of the artist, Beirut.


Azza Abo Rebieh (1980–), Nayfeh, 2016. Pencil on paper. Collection of the artist, Beirut.


The Pencil Is a Key is an exhibition of historical and contemporary drawings by incarcerated people from all over the globe. Works by artists who were or currently are prisoners will be juxtaposed with drawings by prisoners who became artists while incarcerated. Examples include drawings by political prisoners like Gustave Courbet, who was held in Saint Pélagie Prison for his role in the Paris Commune uprising of 1871; artists incarcerated during World War II as noncombatents like Hans Bellmer, who was interned in France, and a young Ruth Asawa, who was interned by the US government because she was a Japanese American; as well as artists in Soviet Gulags, Apartheid-era South Africa, in Central and South American countries under military dictatorships, and in the post-Arab Spring Middle East. The exhibition will also present drawings by members of contemporary American prison populations who found their talent through prison art programs, as well as collections of works by anonymous contemporary artist incarcerates working in drawing genres specific to prison life, like “Paños Chicanos” drawn on handkerchiefs, or envelope drawings meant to be sold or delivered through the mail.


Drawing is vital to those in captivity; it is a vehicle through which they proclaim their individuality, express their hope, and imagine their freedom. The drawings featured in this exhibition present powerful evidence of the persistence of human creativity in the most inhumane of circumstances and argue for the necessity of art—in the form of drawing—to the life of every human being. Created in extreme circumstances, the drawings in this show are weapons in the fight for justice, records that bear witness to terrible circumstances, containers of memory, and portals to a better future. Their very existence is of great significance, but their genius offers the proof of drawing’s purpose as well as the clearest explanation of why institutions like The Drawing Center must continue to present art to the public.


Organized by the curatorial team at The Drawing Center: Claire Gilman, Rosario Güiraldes, Laura Hoptman, Isabella Kapur, and Duncan Tomlin.


The Pencil Is a Key: Drawings by Incarcerated Artists is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Agnes Gund, Lonti Ebers, and the Director's Circle of The Drawing Center.


Additional support is provided by Allen Adler and Frances Beatty Adler; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya; Dita Amory; Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian; Fiona and Eric Rudin; and Anonymous.


Support for the exhibition catalogue is provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.


Special thanks to albertz benda, Andrew Edlin Gallery, David Zwirner, Donald Ellis Gallery, Galerie Buchholz, Galeria Nara Roesler, Gavlak Gallery and Ubu Gallery, New York.


Image: Azza Abo Rebieh (1980–), Nayfeh, 2016. Pencil on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

The Lab Oct 11, 2019 - Nov 10, 2019

Open Sessions 15

\\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


Image: Installation shot of Core Sample: Open Sessions 13. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


Open Session 15 will include artists: Bahar Behbahani, Keren Benbenisty, Katarina Burin, Jesse Chun, Carolina Fusilier, Rachel Granofsky


Open Sessions is a two-year program provides opportunities for selected artists to find new approaches for contextualizing and exhibiting their work through conversation, public programs, and exhibitions. Drawing may or may not be the primary means of art-making for Open Sessions artists. Open Sessions fosters a dynamic, ever-evolving dialogue with new drawing practices and practitioners, viewing drawing as an activity rather than a product.


From October 12 through December 2019, Open Sessions presents five exhibitions organized by Rosario Güiraldes and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions Curators, together with participating artists. Conceived and organized over fourteen months, these exhibitions take the form of thematic group shows designed to highlight experimental work and ideas. In the second year of the cycle, Open Sessions curators organize a full-museum exhibition to which all Open Sessions artists contribute work that best manifests and/or expands the definition of drawing.


Open Sessions is made possible by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Further Forward Foundation, and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


Image: Installation shot of Core Sample: Open Sessions 13. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.

Stairwell Oct 11, 2019 - Sep 13, 2020

Edie Fake

Labyrinth

\\Edie Fake, Sketch for //Labyrinth// at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist. \\Edie Fake, Sketch for //Labyrinth// at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist. \\Edie Fake, Sketch for //Labyrinth// at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.


Edie Fake, Sketch for Labyrinth at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.


In October, 2019, Chicago artist Edie Fake will createa site-specific wall drawing in the stairwell of The Drawing Center lobby. Fake’s installation will be the fourth in a series following Inka Essenhigh’s Manhattanhenge (April 2018–August 2019), Gary Simmons’s Ghost Reels (October 2016–February 2018), and Abdelkader Benchamma’s Dark Matter (April 2015–August 2016).


Edie Fake (b. 1980, Chicago) is known for his drawings of architecture, both real and visionary, that represent what the artist calls “Queer Space.” Using kaleidoscopic color schemes and vibrating maze-like motifs, Fake creates psychical maps of spaces in which LGBTQ+ communities traditionally sought out self-identification. Fake floods his drawings with overlapping patterns and architectural features: labyrinthine walls, doors, windows, and swimming pools among others. Simultaneously bold and disorienting, Fake’s eclectic drawings function as visual metaphors for the experience of LGBTQ+ identity, which can be both empowering and destabilizing.


At The Drawing Center, Fake will realize his architectural fantasies in an actual built space. Overlaying an imagined maze-like architectural façade onto the walls of the stairwell, Fake will turn the liminal space into an homage to the Labyrinth Foundation, an early organization for trans men established in the late 1960s in Chicago. The elaborate façade will dissolve into the same winding patterns and paths that populate Fake’s individual drawings, a reference to the myriad unmapped territories and paths through trans identity.


Edie Fake: Labyrinth is made possible by Marlborough; the Toby Devan Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson; John Robin Baitz; billy ocallaghan and mark gross; and Western Exhibitions.


Image: Edie Fake, Sketch for Labyrinth at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

The Lab Nov 15, 2019 - Jan 05, 2020

Open Sessions 16

\\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Image: Installation shot of //Core Sample: Open Sessions 13//. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


Image: Installation shot of Core Sample: Open Sessions 13. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


Open Session 16 will include artists: Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Crystal Z Campbell, Theodore Darst, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Young Joo Lee, Omid Shekari, Tariku Shiferaw


Open Sessions is a two-year program provides opportunities for selected artists to find new approaches for contextualizing and exhibiting their work through conversation, public programs, and exhibitions. Drawing may or may not be the primary means of art-making for Open Sessions artists. Open Sessions fosters a dynamic, ever-evolving dialogue with new drawing practices and practitioners, viewing drawing as an activity rather than a product.


From October 12 through December 2019, Open Sessions presents five exhibitions organized by Rosario Güiraldes and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions Curators, together with participating artists. Conceived and organized over fourteen months, these exhibitions take the form of thematic group shows designed to highlight experimental work and ideas. In the second year of the cycle, Open Sessions curators organize a full-museum exhibition to which all Open Sessions artists contribute work that best manifests and/or expands the definition of drawing.


Open Sessions is made possible by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Further Forward Foundation, and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


Image: Installation shot of Core Sample: Open Sessions 13. The Drawing Center, New York. December 13, 2018 - February 03, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.

Main Gallery Jan 21, 2020 - Jan 26, 2020

Winter Term 2020

\\Installation shot of //Winter Term 2019: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)//. The Drawing Center, New York. February 22 – March 24, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Installation shot of //Winter Term 2019: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)//. The Drawing Center, New York. February 22 – March 24, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian. \\Installation shot of //Winter Term 2019: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)//. The Drawing Center, New York. February 22 – March 24, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


Installation shot of Winter Term 2019: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). The Drawing Center, New York. February 22 – March 24, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.


The Drawing Center’s Winter Term is an annual initiative in which the museum partners with an artist or organization whose mission it is to explore the transformative role that drawing can play in civic and global society. Programs consist of public events, classes, and performances, as well as an exhibition designed to investigate the efficacy of drawing as a tool for addressing inequity and encouraging social change. Winter Term asks how drawing, the most universal of mediums, can extend beyond the gallery space to provide concrete tools for collective engagement and collaboration. Winter Term 2020 will be announced in the fall of 2019.


Installation shot of Winter Term 2019: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). The Drawing Center, New York. February 22 – March 24, 2019. Photo: Martin Parsekian.

Main Gallery Feb 14, 2020 - May 03, 2020

Curtis Talwst Santiago

Can't I Alter

\\Curtis Talwst Santiago, //Red Face Ancestral Vision 1//, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery. \\Curtis Talwst Santiago, //Red Face Ancestral Vision 1//, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery. \\Curtis Talwst Santiago, //Red Face Ancestral Vision 1//, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery.


Curtis Talwst Santiago, Red Face Ancestral Vision 1, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery.


Born in Canada to Trinidadian parents, Curtis Talwst Santiago vividly recalls his first childhood visit to Trinidad and the annual J’Ouvert celebration, where he witnessed the tradition of applying red clay to the faces of family members. Years later, as an artist working in New York, he began using spray paint to draw radiating red faces on portraits of imagined ancestors on paper, canvas, and stone. This trope has become a central element in Santiago’s drawing practice, which has expanded significantly over the last few years. In all his work (the artist is also known for his Infinity Series, an expanding group of miniature dioramas built in reliquary-like containers, and he is an accomplished musician), Santiago explores what he terms “genetic imagination,” that is, the ability to access generational knowledge through imaginative recollection and projection. For the artist, this method serves as an means of navigating histories both lost and hidden.


Over the last year, Santiago has been living and working in Lisbon, Portugal, where he is researching and creating work around his own ancestry, combined with representations of Moorish knights. Many of his new drawings are inspired by 17th-century capriccios—landscape paintings where the real and the imaginary, the contemporary and the anachronistic, share the same fantastical space. In winter 2020, Santiago will create Can’t I Alter, a narrative drawing installation exploring the theme of ancestry and the necessity of preserving the past while acknowledging the fallacies implicit in historical recollection.


This project is a radical departure for the artist who will work in three dimensions on a life-sized scale for the first time to create an installation of walls and passageways in which his drawings and objects will be situated. The effect will be as if one of his dioramas has come to life, with the visitor led through a fantastical landscape in which the real and the fictitious alternate and merge. The installation will be accompanied by a newly commissioned film, as well as performances organized by Santiago.

Organized by Claire Gilman, Chief Curator, with Isabella Kapur, Curatorial Assistant.


Curtis Talwst Santiago: Can't I Alter is made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts. Generous support is provided by Rachel Uffner Gallery, William A. and Pamela K. Royall, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, Cathy and Jonathan Miller, Barbara Polla, Carol Saper, Carla Shen, Isabel Stainow Wilcox, and Anonymous.


Image: Curtis Talwst Santiago, Red Face Ancestral Vision 1, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery.

Drawing Room and The Lab Feb 14, 2020 - May 03, 2020

Guo Fengyi

To See from a Distance

\\Guo Fengyi, //Fetus// , 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space. \\Guo Fengyi, //Fetus// , 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space. \\Guo Fengyi, //Fetus// , 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space.


Guo Fengyi, Fetus , 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space.


Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance, will be the first major institutional exhibition of the work of Guo Fengyi (b. China, 1942; d. 2010) in the United States. The exhibition will feature works from all periods of her compact yet fruitful career, including drawings executed on the backs of book and calendar pages and on cloth, as well as small- and large-scale drawings on rice paper scrolls. The exhibition will also feature sketchbooks, notebooks, and archival materials that provide context for a drawing vocabulary that osscilates between the whimsical, the systematic, and the wildly imaginative. Occupying two floors of The Drawing Center—the Drawing Room and The Lab—the exhibition will present the expanse of a career that was highly focused but at the same time inclusive of a variety of interests and obsessions, including Chinese medicine, ancient Chinese history, and a deeply personal spirituality.


Guo Fengyi began her artistic career in the late 1980s after quitting her administrative job in a chemical fertilizer factory due to severe arthritis. To ease her pain, she started to practice qigong—a Chinese spiritual healing practice that combines physical exercise, breathing, and meditation with martial arts. While practicing, Guo would enter a hallucinatory state that produced visions of characters such as dragons, mythological creatures, and ornately dressed humanoids. These became the subjects of her intricate ink drawings—cosmic diagrams that reference Chinese mythology, traditional medicine, and the philosophy of the I Ching.


Organized by Rosario Güiraldes, Assistant Curator, and Laura Hoptman, Executive Director.


Image: Guo Fengyi, Fetus , 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space.

Main Gallery, Drawing Room, and The Lab May 22, 2020 - Sep 13, 2020

Huguette Caland

Tête-à-Tête

\\Huguette Caland, //Foule//, 1970 (Dress), 1985 (Mannequin). Thread on fabric with accompanying wood mannequin with foam, 73 x 18 9/10 x 12 inches. Hammer Museum, LA.

\\Huguette Caland, //Foule//, 1970 (Dress), 1985 (Mannequin). Thread on fabric with accompanying wood mannequin with foam, 73 x 18 9/10 x 12 inches. Hammer Museum, LA.

\\Huguette Caland, //Foule//, 1970 (Dress), 1985 (Mannequin). Thread on fabric with accompanying wood mannequin with foam, 73 x 18 9/10 x 12 inches. Hammer Museum, LA.


Huguette Caland, Foule, 1970 (Dress), 1985 (Mannequin). Thread on fabric with accompanying wood mannequin with foam, 73 x 18 9/10 x 12 inches. Hammer Museum, LA.


Huguette Caland: Tête-à-Tête will be the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Bringing together works on paper and canvas from the past five decades—as well as caftans, mannequins, sculptures, and notebooks on and in which she wielded her pen—the exhibition will show how Caland used the candidness and mutability of the medium of drawing to challenge taboos associated with the representation of female sexuality.


In the late 1960s, at the age of 39, Huguette Caland (b. Beirut, Lebanon, 1931) left her husband and children in Beirut and relocated to Paris to pursue a career as an artist. Because of her early paintings on the subject of human sexuality, Caland briefly came to international prominence in the 1970s; yet, it is the explicit manner in which she expresses sensuality through drawing that has precipitated her recent resurfacing. Caland’s pencil and colored-pencil drawings from the 1970s and 1980s at first appear empty or abstract, but closer observation of the artist’s delberate lines reveals intertwined body parts, tender images of caressing lovers, and carnivalesque portraits of topsy-turvy figures. Often, Caland uses a single line to convey a body part or intimate gesture, and incorporates the white of the page as a part of the drawing process. Extending her drawing practice to fashion in the early 1970s, Caland created a series of one hundred kaftans and embroidered many of these with schematic images of breasts and female genitalia. The tension between the nakedness of the human body and the fabrics that conceal it became a central theme in Caland’s drawing practice beginning in the early 1990s, where it was reflected both in the artist’s delicately cross-hatched ink drawings that resemble woven textiles and in a series of nude mannequins embellished with these same designs. Even in her later, more abstracted drawings, the vitality of the human body and the human spirit remains palpable as fragments of figures and geographical elements from her past and present surface amidst brightly-colored drawn and patterned landscapes.


Organized by Claire Gilman, Chief Curator, with Isabella Kapur, Curatorial Assistant.


Huguette Caland: Tête-à-Tête is supported in part by Étant donnés Contemporary Art, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation. Étant donnés is developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel USA, the ADAGP, the French Ministry of Culture, and Institut Français - Paris. Additional support is provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran.


Huguette Caland, Foule, 1970 (Dress), 1985 (Mannequin). Thread on fabric with accompanying wood mannequin with foam, 73 x 18 9/10 x 12 inches. Hammer Museum, LA.