Cabinet of Horrors
Judith Bernstein: Cabinet of Horrors presents a new body of work by the artist, specifically commissioned by The Drawing Center. Focusing on work made since Donald J. Trump was elected president in November 2016, the exhibition includes approximately eighteen new drawings, four large-scale paper panel murals, a series of drawn “dollar bills”, vintage piggy banks in a vitrine, and a free political campaign pin designed by Bernstein. A series of free political campaign pins designed by Bernstein are available at the museum entrance.
Bernstein began engaging with social issues in her work during the 1960s, creating anti-Vietnam drawings, monumental phalluses, and pieces consisting entirely of her own signature. The present series of drawings use Trump’s own insult-driven, childlike syntax and language to distill Bernstein’s anger, disgust, and disapproval of the current administration and its policies. Through her new series of drawings, Bernstein transforms her critique into powerful graphic and text-based works. Providing context for Bernstein’s recent work, this exhibition opens with one of the artist’s earliest political drawings from 1969, as well as, a selection of five “Word Drawings” from 1995, including: Liberty, Justice, Equality, Evil, and Fear.
Organized by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Judith Bernstein: Cabinet of Horrors is made possible through the support of Valeria Napoleone XX; Corina Larkin and Nigel Dawn; and the Richman Family Foundation with additional contributions from Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Karma International, Zürich/Los Angeles; and an anonymous donor.
Special thanks to Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, for their support of the exhibition catalogue.
Funding of all public programs associated with this exhibition is provided by Valeria Napoleone XX.
Image: Judith Bernstein, Trump Genie, 2016. Acrylic on paper, 29 x 41 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Eddie Martinez’s drawing practice blends seamlessly with his daily life as the New York-based artist carries pen and paper with him on the subway, to the doctor’s office, and to restaurants and lectures, among other work and leisure events. Stylistically evocative of mid-century abstraction, Martinez’s drawings bring their own complexity, plugging a rotating cast of characters into raw, vigorously-drawn landscapes: cartoon ducks, oversized eyes, coiled snakes, and anthropomorphic blocks of color are among his itinerant motifs. In his Brooklyn studio, Martinez maintains a “drawing wall,” wherein sketches ranging in size, shape, and material serve simultaneously as a source of inspiration and a data bank for the artist’s incessant imaginative output. The Drawing Center’s forthcoming exhibition Eddie Martinez: Studio Wall, will bring the drawing wall to the museum. The artist will paper the gallery with thousands of sketches that he will change throughout the exhibition’s run. In addition, several large drawings and paintings will be hung on top of these sketches allowing viewers to observe the interconnection between all aspects of Martinez’s practice.
Organized by Claire Gilman, Chief Curator.
Eddie Martinez: Studio Wall is made possible through the support of Beth DeWoody; Jeannie and T Grant; Barbara Toll; Bruce and Robbi Toll; Liz and Jonathan Goldman; Ian & Serge Krawiecki Gazes; Craig Nerenberg; Carole Server and Oliver Frankel; and Schuster Tanger.
Special thanks to Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London.
Image: Eddie Martinez, Untitled, 2015. Silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint and enamel on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Courtesy of the artist, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, and Timothy Taylor Gallery, London.
What the Body Can Do
Open Sessions 11
What the Body Can Do: Open Sessions 11, the final exhibition of the program’s 2016–17 cycle, captures the movement and potential of individual bodies in collective action. The artists in this exhibition dissect spectacles of war, memorialize immigrant and refugee narratives, savor protest cinema and images produced by the paparazzi. The exhibition features artists, Danielle Dean, Olalekan Jeyifous, Jennifer May Reiland, Slinko, and Hồng-An Trương. Dean’s animations unravel speech; Jeyifous’ images collapse surrealist aesthetics and the design troupe of architectural folly; telephone screens, mirrors, and the camera’s eye are a window into Reiland’s versions of biblical and mythological tales; bread figures embody uprising and rebellion in Slinko’s large storyboard drawings; and Trương’s photos compose an archive of fragmented views of the Asian American activist movement in the United States.
Open Sessions is a hybrid exhibition/residency program created by Lisa Sigal and Nova Benway, Open Sessions Curators. It provides unique opportunities for selected artists to find new approaches for contextualizing and exhibiting their work through exhibitions, public programs, workshops, and working dinners. The artists selected for Open Sessions may or may not draw as their primary means of art-making. The two-year program engages musicians, architects, dancers, poets—anyone who is interested in expanding the boundaries of drawing. Open Sessions artists work together to create a dynamic, continuous conversation, viewing drawing as an activity rather than a product.
Image: Slinko, Economy of Means, (detail), 2017, archival print, 44 x 68 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
For the second long-term installation presented in the Lab Corridor, The Drawing Center presents a site-specific installation by the Santa Fe-based artist Susan York, which references the internal structure of the museum’s 35 Wooster Street building. Using graphite as a sculptural rather than a two-dimensional medium, York created replicas of parts of the museum’s foundation: irregular granite piers that protrude above the museum’s ground floor. Four graphite drawings, each mirroring the appearance of a pier, hang alongside York’s sculptural works, strengthening the ties between drawing and sculpture in her practice. York’s long-term installation initiates an expanded field of activity at The Drawing Center, offering an opportunity to explore drawing as an interactive and socially-minded practice. By bringing attention to The Drawing Center’s building, York’s installation encourages discussion about the importance of museums as public spaces with historical and physical presence.
Organized by Amber Harper, Assistant Curator.
Susan York: Foundation is made possible by the support of Andrew Wallerstein and Mary Sloane; Diane Karp, P.h.D; James Kelly; and an anonymous donor.
Special thanks to Exhibitions 2d – Marfa.
Image: Susan York, LEFT: Installation view of Foundation I, 2017. Solid graphite, 44 x 3 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches. RIGHT: Installation view of 1:1 Foundation I, no. 1 (rear profile), @The Drawing Center, 2017. Graphite pencil on paper, 32 1/8 x 42 inches.
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.