Point of Departure marks the fourth iteration of Open Sessions, a six-part exhibition program presented between October 2018 and January 2020 at The Drawing Center. Organized by curators Rosario Güiraldes and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions fosters a dynamic, ever-evolving dialogue with new drawing practices and practitioners, exhibiting and contextualizing the work of early career artists who explore the nature of drawing in its many manifestations through conversation, public programs, and thematic group exhibitions.
The works on view—by Bahar Behbahani, Keren Benbenisty, Katarina Burin, Jesse Chun, Carolina Fusilier, and Rachel Granofsky—draw inspiration from American artist Paul Thek’s imaginative and unconventional approach to the medium of drawing. When Thek taught art classes at The Cooper Union in the late 1970s, he gave his students a list of eccentric instructions titled, “Teaching Notes: 4-Dimensional Design.” Using Thek’s notes as a springboard, the artists in Point of Departure created their own set of directives, combining reason and imagination to reconsider their own artistic processes. The directives’ correlating artworks include drawings for the transportation of people, memories, and belongings; renderings of disappeared Palestinian villages from 1948 to the present; as well as personal memories of civic designs in the former Yugoslavia.
Bahar Behbahani is an artist based in New York City. Her research-based practice, which includes painting, video, installation, and community engagement, weaves layers of archival material and cartographic and horticultural historical documents to produce compositions both political and poetic. Recent exhibitions include the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire; Experimental Media And Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytech, Troy, NY; Thomas Erben Gallery, New York City; The 11th Shanghai Biennale; 7th Moscow Biennale; Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens; The Tribeca Film Festival, New York City; the Asia Art Biennial, Bangladesh; among others. Behbahani is a Creative Capital (2019) Grant Awardee.
Keren Benbenisty is an artist based in New York City. Benbenisty’s practice examines our relationship to history by revealing both the ancient and modern constructs hidden beneath the surface of contemporary life. Recent exhibitions include those at A.I.R Gallery, Brooklyn; Soloway, Brooklyn; Mishkan Ein Harod, Israel; Petach Tikva Museum, Israel; Ulterior Gallery, New York City; The James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center for Humanities, New York City; Tel-Aviv Museum of Art; Genia Schreiber University Gallery, Tel Aviv; The Artist House,Jerusalem; Francesca Antonini Gallery, Rome; and Human Resources, Los Angeles.
Katarina Burin is an artist based in Cambridge, MA. Burin’s artwork includes sculpture, drawing, text, and installation. Katarina has recently received a Now+There Public Art grant, a Graham Foundation grant, and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Recent solo exhibitions include Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, Neubauer Collegium of the University of Chicago, and ViPer in Prague. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Providence College Galleries in December, 2019 and Anthony Greaney in October 2019, as well as at Significant Other in Vienna in February 2020. Burin is currently lecturer at Harvard’s Art, Film and Visual Studies department.
Jesse Chun is an artist based in New York City. Chun investigates systems of language, through a variety of materials—such as aluminum, graphite, and latex—to render anew various watermarks used for official documents, certificates, and diplomas. Chun has exhibited at the Queens Museum, New York City; BAM, New York City; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City; and Oakville Galleries, Ontario, Canada. Select commissions and awards include the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship at ISCP (2019); Triple Canopy (2018); BRIC Media Arts Fellowship (2017); and a solo public commission at the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2016).
Carolina Fusilier is an artist based in Mexico City. Fusilier’s artwork includes video, painting, sound compositions, and installations. She has recently received The Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant and a grant from the Jumex Foundation in Mexico City. Recent solo exhibitions include those at Locust Projects, Miami; Natalia Hug Gallery, Cologne, Germany; SOMA, Mexico City; and La Fábrica, Buenos Aires..Recent group exhibitions include those at the Sculpture Center, New York City; Vacation Gallery, New York City; Biquini Wax, Mexico City; and CCU Tlatelolco, Mexico City.
Rachel Granofsky is an artist based in New York City. Granofsky’s photographs are constructed with paint, fabric, paper, charcoal, and tape applied directly onto the surface of walls, furniture, and household objects to compose an environment that mimics the single point of view of the camera lens. She recently had a solo exhibition at Rachel Ufner Gallery in New York City and group exhibitions at various venues in South Africa, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.
About Open Sessions
Open Sessions builds on The Drawing Center’s longstanding legacy of championing work by early career artists who explore the nature of drawing in its many manifestations. Organized by curators Rosario Güiraldes and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions is a two-year program created as a platform for artists to find new approaches for contextualizing and exhibiting their work, through conversation, public programs, and thematic group exhibitions.
Artists selected for Open Sessions 2018–20 include: Joeun Aatchim, Kenseth Armstead, Bahar Behbahani, Keren Benenisty, Katarina Burin, Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Alex Callender, Crystal Z Campbell, Ludovica Carbotta, Jesse Chun, Liz Collins, Mike Crane, Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Theodore Darst, Billy and Steven Dufala, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Carolina Fusilier, Rachel Granofsky, LaMont Hamilton, Kunlin He, Victoria Keddie, Young Joo Lee, Lux Linder, Sharon Madanes, Guadalupe Maravilla, Zatara McIntyre, Ester Partegàs, Omid Shekari, Tariku Shiferaw, Johanna Unzueta, Cosmo Whyte.
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: Keren Benbenisty,
The Place of the Fold
(still), 2018. Two-channel video and sound installation from the project Fajja, 12 minutes.