Name It by Trying to Name It: Open Sessions 2014-15
Initiated in 2014, Open Sessions is a new program at The Drawing Center through which a large group of artists consider their relationship to drawing as medium, process, and metaphor. Working together over a two-year period, Open Sessions artists participate in ongoing studio visits and discussions, punctuated by small group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, as well as other self-organized shows in New York and abroad.
Name It by Trying to Name It: Open Sessions 2014-15 includes all artists in the program, giving the first floor of the museum over to an exploration of contemporary drawing, encompassing performance, video, sculpture, and installation, as well as traditional drawing forms. The show's numerous collaborations, in which ideas and materials are shared, emphasize the medium's flexibility and process-oriented nature. The exhibition will evolve over its six-week run, as some artworks enter and exit in two-week cycles, while others remain constant throughout the show's run. Taken as a whole, Name It by Trying to Name It presents a window into nearly two years of thinking about drawing.
Single Occupancy, a performance work by Lauren Bakst and Yuri Masnyj will take place in the gallery.
Friday, August 7 at 2pm & 3pm
Thursday, August 13 at 7pm
Thursday, August 20 at 5pm
Friday, August 21 at 2pm & 3pm
Organized by Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal, Curators of the Open Sessions program.
Open Sessions is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Faber-Castell, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Image: Jimbo Blachly, Drawing Wagon, 2015, Paper, ink, wood, Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist.
Robin Rhode: Drawing Waves
In Drawing Waves, South African–born, German-based artist Robin Rhode will exhibit his signature, stop-action photographs (in which he draws in public streets and then a performer interacts with the inscribed image) in a new photographic sequence entitled, Breaking Waves, 2014-15, which whimsically depicts a young boy surfing in the sea. The illusionistic swell of the waves–articulated by Rhode’s drawn gestures onto a dilapidated city wall–reiterates the boy’s deft maneuvering of the ocean and this type of athletic physicality is echoed in the accompanying wall drawing Paries Pictus-Draw The Waves, 2015. Rhode will partner with a group of children aged 8-10 years to create this large-scale mural of the high seas, which will be video recorded and on view. He begins the process by attaching vinyl cutouts of seventeenth century mercantile ships to the gallery wall, and then invites the children to freely draw the surrounding body of water using giant, custom-made oil crayons. The nautical motif is largely inspired by the East India Company fleet, who were the first colonialists in Southern Africa—a nod to Rhode’s own childhood and the indignities he faced growing up in a post-apartheid South Africa. Yet as a participatory artwork, Rhode offers a more hopeful message by bringing urban youth culture to the fore and demonstrating the power of pure imagination.
Curated by Joanna Kleinberg Romanow, Adjunct Assistant Curator.
Robin Rhode: Drawing Waves is made possible by the Wagner Family Foundation and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Special thanks to Allison and Larry Berg.
Image: Robin Rhode, Breaking Waves, 2014 , One of sixteen C-prints, 14 x 24 inches each, Courtesy of the artist. Collection of Allison & Larry Berg.
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.
James Sheehan: Death of Malevich
To activate The Drawing Center’s newly designed galleries, the institution’s curators have invited artists to create long-term drawing-based installations in atypical locations around the facility. The first project is James Sheehan’s Death of Malevich (2013). Sheehan’s postage-stamp-size watercolor on board is inserted directly into one of the walls of The Lab corridor, creating a keyhole effect that voyeuristically transports the viewer into another realm. His infinitesimal image Death of Malevich derives from a photograph of famed Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich lying in state, surrounded by his artworks. Sheehan’s exploration of the relationship between distance and scale results in a scene that appears legible from afar, but that gradually dissolves on approach—even as the work’s recessed installation (and the placement of the painter’s acclaimed Black Square, 1915, directly above the dead man’s head) draw the viewer in. This work was also featured in our recent exhibition Small..
James Sheehan, Death of Malevich, 2013, Watercolor on rag board, inserted into wall, 7/8 x 1 inch. Courtesy of the artist.