Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture
Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture is the first solo museum exhibition for Louise Despont, an artist best known for using compasses, stencils, and rulers to create intricate and deeply meditative drawings on ledger paper. For Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture, The Drawing Center has commissioned a new site-specific architectural installation and several series of large-scale drawings that have been influenced by Despont’s recent relocation to Bali.
The first architectural enclosure on view, entitled Pure Potential, consists of a wooden façade covered by wooden dowels that create a textured and protective surface. For Despont, the series of eight Pure Potential drawings represent the transition of energy from formlessness into form.
The second architectural space, which is oval in shape, holds a monumental frieze drawing that is sixty feet in length, six feet in height, and composed of seven panels. The drawing depicts the relationship between a material form and a subtle body—the independent entity that manifests through the physical self. For Despont, the drawn lines in each work symbolize the invisible structures, channels, and pathways of energy that flow through and exist in symbiosis with the human body. The seven sections of this monumental work are divided by ten columns, each of which is fitted with a diamond form surrounded by a checkered pattern. The design is inspired by the Balinese kain poleng, a manifestation of sacred balance, while the diamond symbolizes the eye of awareness.
As part of the installation, Despont has invited conceptual artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner to present his gamelatron, an original instrument created by Kuffner that is a robotic variant of the gamelan, the traditional Balinese and Javanese orchestra that includes vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells, and gongs.
Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture is made possible by the support of Anna Getty, Jerry Bruckheimer, Fred and Nancy Poses, Eric and Fiona Rudin, John Sughrue, Steven Roth, Barry Siadat, Morris Orden, and David and Susan Marco. Additional support is provided by members of The Drawing Center's Exhibition Fund.
Special thanks to Nicelle Beauchene Gallery.
Image: Louise Despont, Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture (Subtle and Circulatory, Female), 2015. Colored pencil and graphite on antique ledger book pages. 71 1/2 x 68 1/2, 12 ledger book pages. Courtesy of the artist and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery.
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital is the first museum exhibition of this new series of ten pastels made in 2012. The works are based on a series of photographs that Bartlett took during an extended stay at Greenberg Pavilion at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, and which she later cropped and edited in her studio. Bartlett has included pastels in other large-scale serial works like In the Garden (1980) and Air: 24 Hours (1991–92). As well, pastels have acted as a sort of travelogue for Bartlett, with various series referencing places she has lived in or traveled to, including: Cape Cod, Bermuda, Aspen, Iceland, Mayeaux Island, Sun Valley, Amagansett, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
With Hospital, Bartlett continues her long-established practice of close observation and responsiveness to her environment, but this time turns her attention to interior spaces and window views rather than landscapes, gardens, and atmospheric conditions. The drawings mine the liminal experience of "hospital time," characterized by long periods of waiting interspersed with highly organized routines of treatment, medication, and physical therapy. This combination of boredom and activity often heightens one's awareness of details, and Bartlett exploits these sensations to create images that eschew sentimentality while remaining indelibly poignant.
Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital is made possible by the support of Jerry Speyer, Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, and the Schiff Foundation. Additional support is provided by members of The Drawing Center's Exhibition Fund.
Image: Jennifer Bartlett, Hospital, 2012, Pastel on paper, 30 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice. Photo by Joseph Hu.
Upcoming Free Events:
Saturday, February 13, 2PM Walkthrough
Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter
Further activating The Drawing Center's newly designed exhibition spaces, each year an artist will be invited to create a wall drawing in the gallery’s main entryway and stairwell. The Center continues this initiative in April 2015 with a commission by contemporary artist Abdelkader Benchamma (b. 1975, Mazamet, France).
For his first U.S. museum presentation, Abdelkader Benchamma will create an astronomical vortex in the strikingly graphic large-scale drawing, Representation of Dark Matter, 2015. Comprised of a series of linear abstractions and nebulous, inkblot forms the work is a highly articulated depiction of the complexity of the solar system and its nearly imperceptible dark matter. The image’s swirling masses of lines are intricately rendered to resemble scientific illustrations of the Big Bang and explosive cosmic forces. Benchamma’s monochromatic use of such drawing tools as black felt-tip pens, India ink, and charcoal against the gallery wall’s pristine surface will result in a subtle array of tones and textures that straddles the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. As an occult mapping of time and space, this immersive installation gives form to that which is infinitely large and perpetually transforming.
Curated by Joanna Kleinberg Romanow, Adjunct Assistant Curator.
Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter is made possible by the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai and galerie du jour agnes b., Paris.
Studio 360 radio on "How Do You Draw Dark Matter".
Image: Abdelkader Benchamma, Representation of Dark Matter, 2015, Mixed media, Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai and galerie du jour agnes b., Paris. (Installation photo by Jose Andres Ramirez.)
Rachel Goodyear: Restless Guests
UK-based artist Rachel Goodyear will present a selection of drawings and hand-drawn animations in The Lab corridor. The animated works loop seamlessly, unfolding a narrative that never fully coheres, while the drawings - inspired by found sources, Goodyear's own photographs, and studies of invented scenarios - evoke a sense of drifting in and out of focus and consciousness.
Curated by Jessica Man, Curatorial Assistant.
Rachel Goodyear: Restless Guests is made possible by the support of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.
Image: Rachel Goodyear, Afternoon, 2011, Pencil and watercolor on paper, framed, 23 3/5 x 16 1/2 inches (60 x 42 cm). Courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, Copyright the artist.