Mateo López: Undo List is a multidisciplinary installation that will be the Colombian artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States and that will feature works on paper, sculpture, performance, and projected film. Trained as an architect in his native Bogotá, López has long used drawing as a conceptual tool to cross disciplines and aesthetic categories. Drawing is more than an artistic medium for López; it is a way of conceiving and indeed inhabiting the world. Simple drawn constructions that can be manipulated in various ways; trompe l’oeil paper renderings of two and three dimensional objects (for example, near-exact replicas of lined sheets of paper); drawings made out of the leftovers produced by cutting into other works—these are just some of the devices López uses to reveal that, as he says himself, just as everything manufactured was at one point a drawing, so too, “an image is not flat; it is an atmosphere, it contains time and space.”
Organized by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator
Mateo López: Undo List is made possible by the support of the Rolex Institute, Estrellita Brodsky, Ana Sokoloff, and Ann and Marshall Webb. Additional support is provided by the Embassy of Colombia in the United States through the Promotion Plan of Colombia Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.
Additional thanks to: Travesía Cuatro; Giorgio Griffa and Casey Kaplan, New York; Galeria Luisa Strina; and Casas Riegner.
The Drawing Center gives special thanks to the Rolex Institute for helping to support Mateo López’s Undo List exhibition. The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is aimed at ensuring that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on from generation to generation and across continents and cultures. The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative helps rising young artists achieve their full potential by pairing them with great masters for a year of intense one-to-one collaboration. Since 2002, Rolex has brought together a total of 50 mentor and protégé pairs in the fields of architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts to participate in this unique creative exchange. In the 2012-2013 series of the philanthropic program, Colombian artist Mateo López worked with acclaimed South African visual artist William Kentridge, who helped him expand the scope of his innovative drawings and installations.
Image: Mateo López, Still from Time as Activity, 2016. 2-channel video projection, 54 minutes.
Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.
Jackson Mac Low
In Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words, The Drawing Center will present the first solo museum exhibition of visual works by Jackson Mac Low (1922–2004) that spans the multidisciplinary artist’s practice from the 1940s to the 2000s. Mac Low, who is known for composing poetry through chance procedures and automatism, first experimented with these creative processes in his drawings. The earliest drawings in the exhibition, created in the late 1940s and early 1950s, resemble pre-linguistic marks made with gestural ink brushstrokes. Later works created during the 1960s through the 1990s include series of drawings—Drawing-Asymmetries, Vocabularies, and Gathas—that emphasize the visual and aural qualities of written languages, acting as both graphic representations and performance scores. The exhibition closes with a series of thirteen drawings made in 1995; echoing the unsettled system of marks in Mac Low’s early works, these drawings were composed by repeatedly handwriting terms that describe natural scenery, creating a ghostly impression with layered graphite marks. Through Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words, The Drawing Center identifies the foundational character of drawing, a medium that significantly informed Mac Low and influenced his multidisciplinary practice for more than sixty years.
Organized by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words is made possible by the support of Glenn Horowitz, Steve Clay and Julie Harrison, Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein, and several anonymous donors.
Special thanks to Anne Tardos, Executor of the Estate of Jackson Mac Low, and to composer Michael Byron.
Image: Jackson Mac Low, Drawing-Asymmetry #8, 1961.
Read Drawing Papers 131: Jackson Mac Low: Lines-Letters-Words
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For her exhibition at The Drawing Center, Amy Sillman will present a video (or what she calls an animated drawing) entitled After Metamorphoses, a work based on Ovid’s epic narrative poem that she conceived in 2014 as a Resident at the American Academy in Rome. To create the video, Sillman overlaid abstract drawings (which were made in a bathtub in Berlin) with iPad sketches that precisely follow the sequence of changes that occur in Ovid’s fifteen-book narrative. Set to a score by the Berlin-based musician Wibke Tiarks, the video features a variegated background that flashes beneath a series of figures as they transform one into another with a temporal rhythm. In After Metamorphoses, Sillman exercises the possibility of endless change, a theme first developed in her animated works and that continues to inform her paintings and drawings. Her adaptation of Ovid is one of a number of works that Sillman has made in collaboration with poets, including Lisa Robertson and Charles Bernstein, among others. In tandem with the exhibition, Sillman will create a limited edition zine, the eleventh in her series of zines entitled O.G.
Organized by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator
Amy Sillman: After Metamorphoses is made possible by the support of Jane Dresner Sadaka and Ned Sadaka, Sarah Peter, and Barbara Toll.
Image: Amy Sillman, After Metamorphoses, 2015–16. Video animation with iPad drawings, 5 minutes, looped. Music by Wibke Tiarks. Courtesy of the artist. (film still)
As part of its on-going stairwell project, The Drawing Center has commissioned American artist Gary Simmons to create a site-specific wall drawing in the lobby stairwell. Simmons’ installation will be the second in the series following Abdelkader Benchamma’s Representation of Dark Matter (April 2015–August 2016).
Mining the iconography of American popular culture, Gary Simmons’s work addresses personal and collective experiences of race and class. He is best known for his “erasure drawings,” which he began working on in the late 1980s in an abandoned school in New York City that contained an abundance of blackboards. Using white chalk on slate-painted panels or walls, Simmons blurred the drawings with his hands resulting in hazy but persistent images that evoke faded memories or classrooms at the end of the school day. For The Drawing Center, Simmons created a text-based work consisting of names of African American actors and actresses from the early days of silent film. The artist describes the installation, whose format recalls the scrolling of closing film credits frozen in mid-motion, as invoking “the memories of actors that have been blurred in the history of Hollywood film . . . a kind of silence in both voice and visibility.”
Curated by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator
Gary Simmons: Ghost Reels is made possible by the support of Jeffrey A. Hirsch and Alyssa Fanelli.
Special thanks to Metro Pictures.
Image: Gary Simmons, Ghost Reels, 2016. Mixed media, Site-specific installation. Installation at The Drawing Center, New York, 2016. Photograph by Martin Parsekian.
Jackie Ferrara: Lines consists of eight wall drawings, each anchored by imagined architecture or architectural elements along with lists of film titles rendered in Morse code. The Morse code acts as a foundation or band, interrupting the drawn architecture or adding another layer over the entire surface. The underlying theme of the individual drawings is reflected both in the architectural element or shape dominating the drawing as well as by the Morse code text, which consists of curated lists of films Ferrara began compiling in 1993 that reflect her life-long passion for film. Vampire Towers, for example, depicts nine abstract, dark towers that emerge out of a foundation of vampire film titles veiled in Morse code. This commission reflects the ongoing evolution of Ferrara’s work, incorporating elements of the established language of her sculpture and public art works and bringing them to the walls of The Drawing Center.
Curated by Olga Valle Tetkowski, Exhibition Manager
Jackie Ferrara: Lines is made possible by The Drawing Center’s Exhibition Fund members. Special thanks to Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz.
Photo: Installation View, Lab Corridor. 2016. Photo by Martin Parsekian.
Read Lines by Jackie Ferrara