Notes on Creativity
Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity is the first major museum exhibition to focus on the visualization and drawing practices of master chef Ferran Adrià. The exhibition emphasizes the role of drawing in Adrià’s quest to understand creativity. His complex body of work positions the medium as both a philosophical tool—used to organize and convey knowledge, meaning, and signification-—as well as a physical object—used to synthesize over twenty years of innovation in the kitchen. As one of the most important avant-garde chefs of the twenty-first century, Adrià pushes culinary boundaries with both knowledge and wit, transforming the art of cooking into an art of food. Hundreds of notebooks have been filled with concepts, ideas, collaged photographs, and loose sketches for new dishes for elBulli. More straightforward creative methods in the form of lists, tables of ingredients, and cooking methods have also been used to synthesize ingredients and conceptualize new ways of cooking. The use of drawing to articulate cuisine as both a product and a concept is indicative of a creative model that is always in flux. Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity charts the origins of this innovator’s intellectual and philosophical ideas about gastronomy that have forever changed how we understand food. MOCA Cleveland will host the exhibition September 26, 2014 through January 18, 2015 followed by Minneapolis Institute of Arts from September 17, 2015 through January 3, 2016.
Curated by Brett Littman.
Image: Ferran Adrià, Plating Diagram. Ink on paper, 11x17 inches, Courtesy of elBullifoundation.
Christ You Know It Ain't Easy!!
For the past decade, artist Deborah Grant has interwoven historical accounts and personal experiences with references to contemporary political and social issues in her ongoing series Random Select. Grant culls material from a variety of sources including magazine photographs, comic books, published texts, and art historical reference books which she masterfully translates and brings together via her signature drawing method to create highly personal, non-linear narratives that investigate politics, race, and cultural identity. Grant’s Christ You Know It Ain't Easy!! (the installation takes its title from the Lennon/McCartney song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”) combines painting, drawing, and collage to recount the fictional meeting between African-American folk artist Mary A. Bell and renowned modernist painter Henri Matisse. Mary A. Bell (1873–1941), a deeply devout Catholic domestic servant who produced over a hundred drawings after she had retired from service, never received formal artistic training. Rendered through graphic silhouettes, intricate line drawings, and collaged photographic elements, Grant’s fictionalized narrative provides an alternate account of the legacy of modernist painting, one not told in the history books.
Curated by Claire Gilman.
Image: Deborah Grant, Detail from God's Voice in The Midnight Hours, 2013. Oil, archival ink, enamel, paper, Arches W.C. paper, linen, and wood on 24 birch panels, 24 x 18 x 1 1/2 inches each. Courtesy the artist and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles.
FIVE (The Drawing Center)
Please note, the performance will take place on Thursday, March 6 at 6:30pm. The event is free, but an RSVP is needed. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Five (The Drawing Center) is a multimedia performance that highlights the art of voguing—characterized by angular, linear, and rigid body movements—as it relates to the drawn medium. New York-based vogue dancers and musicians, including renowned opera singer, Stefanos Koroneos, and distinguished Vogue Commentator, Kevin Jz Prodigy, will perform and be conducted by Newsome. For Five (The Drawing Center), Newsome uses cutting edge technology to challenge the ephemeral nature of live performance by transforming the dancers’ movements into unique line drawings. In addition to the evening performance, video documentation from Five (Hong Kong), originally performed at the 2012 Hong Kong International Art Fair, will be exhibited as well as five multi-colored, line drawings produced using motion-tracking software from that performance.
Produced by Joanna Kleinberg Romanow.
Image: Rashaad Newsome, Five (Hong Kong), 2012, Video still from the live performance.
Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy
It is time artist Suzanne Lacy learns to draw, and in this ten-day installation at The Drawing Center, artist Andrea Bowers will attempt to rectify this essential artistic illiteracy in Lacy’s oeuvre. Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy: Drawing Lessons will consist of drawing lessons provided by Bowers over the course of ten days as a platform for conversations; resultant drawings; video projection; and the installation of the lesson environment—lights, platform, drawing easels, etc. As they work together under the scrutiny of a video camera, Bowers and Lacy will explore in work and conversation questions they engage with in their practices in general. For example: what are the roles and problematics of representation in public practice art? How do artists reconcile activist and field-based practices with the necessities of production for gallery and museum? What is the relationship between first and second generation Feminism? What is the role of venue, object, and style in the identification, historification, and evaluation of art? As this is an intensive and actual attempt to teach Lacy to draw, lessons will last four hours per day with drawing practice in between sessions for a total of six hours per day.
Curated by Claire Gilman.
Image: Suzanne Lacy with text by Arlene Raven, Travels With Mona, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Southwest United States and San Francisco, 1977-78. Courtesy the artist.
Acknowledging the parallels between society’s physical and psychological constructions, architect Lebbeus Woods has depicted a career-long narrative of how these constructions transform our being. Working mostly, but not exclusively, with pencil on paper, Woods has created an oeuvre of complex worlds—at times abstract and at times explicit—that present shifts, cycles, repetitions within the built environment. His timeless architecture is not in a particular style or in response to a singular moment in the field; rather, it offers an opportunity to consider how built forms are impact the individual and the collective, and reflect contemporary political, social and ideological conditions, and how one person contributes to the development and mutation of the built world. Lebbeus Woods, Architect brings together works from the past forty years by one of the most influential designers working in architecture. Beyond architects, he has been hailed by designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists as a significant voice in recent history, his works resonate across many disciplines for their conceptual depth, imaginative breadth, lasting beauty and ethical potency. The exhibition centers on transformation as a recurring theme, providing a framework for understanding the experimental nature of the work.
Lebbeus Woods: Architect is curated by Joseph Becker, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Jennifer Dunlop-Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Associate Curator of Architecture and Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
This exhibition originated at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and will be on view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, November 22 through March 2, 2014.
Image: Lebbeus Woods, Photon Kite, from the series Centricity, 1988, Graphite on paper, 24 in. x 22 inches, Purchase through a gift of the Members of the Architecture + Design Forum, SFMOMA Architecture and Design Accessions Committee, and the architecture and design community in honor of Aaron Betsky, Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects, 1995-2001, © Estate of Lebbeus Woods.
Len Lye’s career was marked by a lifelong fascination with movement and an aspiration to compose motion; the movement of the drawing hand was an important touchstone for his works in various media. In New York Lye is now well known for his animated experimental films. In the 1920s, however, Lye began to make what he termed “motion sketches”; abstract drawings that attempted to render the movement of his subjects, rather than their appearance. Motion Sketch reintroduces scholars and audiences in New York to Lye’s multidimensional practice specifically in relation to drawing. Describing his drawing practice in his own carefree prose, Lye said that doodling “cultivates a vacuous seaweed-pod state of kelp as a skull which is attached to a pencil betwixt the arm and the fingers held doodling in turn ‘twixt you and the paper in a rather bemused, empty, harmonious state of an attitude, eyes periphering said paper.” Lye’s kinesthetic approach to drawing—related to Surrealist automatism and anticipating aspects of Abstract Expressionism—also informed his practice in painting, photography, film and sculpture. Not limited to works on paper; the exhibition will instead reveal how Lye’s concept of "doodling" underpinned his approach to much of his work.
Len Lye: Motion Sketch is curated by Gregory Burke, Executive Director/CEO of both the Mendel Art Gallery and Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan and Co-Curator of the Montreal Biennale, 2014; and Tyler Cann, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art and Len Lye Curator-at-Large for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.
Len Lye, Drawing for Head Man of the Seed World, c. 1930, Ink on paper, 10 3/5 x 8 3/10 inches, Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.