Mateo López: Undo List is a multidisciplinary installation that will be the Colombian artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States and that will feature works on paper, sculpture, performance, and projected film. Trained as an architect in his native Bogotá, López has long used drawing as a conceptual tool to cross disciplines and aesthetic categories. Drawing is more than an artistic medium for López; it is a way of conceiving and indeed inhabiting the world. Simple drawn constructions that can be manipulated in various ways; trompe l’oeil paper renderings of two and three dimensional objects (for example, near-exact replicas of lined sheets of paper); drawings made out of the leftovers produced by cutting into other works—these are just some of the devices López uses to reveal that, as he says himself, just as everything manufactured was at one point a drawing, so too, “an image is not flat; it is an atmosphere, it contains time and space.”
Curated by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator
Mateo López: Undo List is made possible by the support of Rolex Institute, Estrellita Brodsky, Ana Sokoloff and Ann and Marshall Webb.
Special thanks to Travesía Cuatro, Giorgio Griffa and Casey Kaplan, New York, Galeria Luisa Strina, and Galería Casas Riegner.
Image: Mateo Lopez, still from stop-motion film El Minutero, 2015
Jackson Mac Low
In Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words, The Drawing Center will present the first solo museum exhibition of visual works by Jackson Mac Low (1922–2004) that spans the multidisciplinary artist’s practice from the 1940s to the 2000s. Mac Low, who is known for composing poetry through chance procedures and automatism, first experimented with these creative processes in his drawings. The earliest drawings in the exhibition, created in the late 1940s and early 1950s, resemble pre-linguistic marks made with gestural ink brushstrokes. Later works created during the 1960s through the 1990s include series of drawings—Drawing-Asymmetries, Vocabularies, and Gathas—that emphasize the visual and aural qualities of written languages, acting as both graphic representations and performance scores. The exhibition closes with a series of thirteen drawings made in 1995; echoing the unsettled system of marks in Mac Low’s early works, these drawings were composed by repeatedly handwriting terms that describe natural scenery, creating a ghostly impression with layered graphite marks. Through Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words, The Drawing Center identifies the foundational character of drawing, a medium that significantly informed Mac Low and influenced his multidisciplinary practice for more than sixty years.
Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words is made possible by the support of Glenn Horowitz, Steve Clay and Julie Harrison, Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein, and several anonymous donors.
Special thanks to Anne Tardos, Executor of the Estate of Jackson Mac Low, and to composer Michael Byron.
Image: Jackson Mac Low, Drawing-Asymmetry #8, 1961.
For her exhibition at The Drawing Center, Amy Sillman will present an animated video entitled After Metamorphoses, a work based on Ovid’s epic narrative poem that she began during a 2015 fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. To create the video, Sillman overlaid abstract drawings (which she worked on in a bathtub in Berlin) with iPad sketches that precisely follow the sequence of changes that occur in Ovid’s fifteen-book narrative. Set to a score by the Berlin-based musician Wibke Tiarks, the film features a variegated background that flashes beneath a series of figures as they transform one into another with a temporal rhythm. In After Metamorphoses, Sillman exercises the possibility of endless change, a theme first developed in her animated works and that continues to inform her paintings and drawings. Her adaptation of Ovid is one of a number of works that Sillman has made in collaboration with poets, including Lisa Robertson and Charles Bernstein, among others. In tandem with the exhibition, Sillman will create a limited edition zine, the eleventh in her series of zines entitled O.G.
Curated by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator
Amy Sillman: After Metamorphoses is made possible by the support of Sarah Peters and Barbara Toll.
Image: Amy Sillman, After Metamorphoses, 2015–16. Video animation with iPad drawings, 5 minutes, looped. Music by Wibke Tiarks. Courtesy of the artist. (film still)
Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions
This exhibition brings to light for the first time an archive of images that illustrate the formation of our modern definition of nature. William Beebe (1877–1962) was one of America's greatest popularizers of ecological thinking and biological science. Beebe literally took the lab into the jungle, rather than the jungle to the lab. The Department of Tropical Research was pioneering in that, under Beebe’s direction, women were hired as lead scientists and field artists. Artist Isabel Cooper, joining in 1919, publicly relished her opportunity to travel through the jungles of Guyana juggling a “vivid serpent or tapestried lizard in one hand, and the best grade of Japanese paintbrush in the other.” The structure of The Drawing Center’s exhibition will mirror the two salient stages of the Department of Tropical Research's investigations: jungle field station work and floating laboratories for marine biology —revealing that artists and scientists worked closely and productively in the near past and that scientists once understood art as a valuable tool for promoting ecological thinking to a broad public.
Curated by Mark Dion, Katherine McLeod, and Madeleine Thompson
Image: Chiasmodon niger Stomach Contents, Else Bostelmann Bermuda 1931. Watercolor on paper. 11 x 14 inches (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Else Bostelmann © Wildlife Conservation Society.
Open Sessions 10
The Open Sessions program was created by Lisa Sigal and Nova Benway, Open Sessions Curators, as an opportunity for selected artists to find new approaches for contextualizing and exhibiting their work, through exhibitions, public programs, and conversation. 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 fosters a dynamic, ever-evolving conversation with new drawing practices and practitioners, viewing drawing as an activity rather than a product.
Curated by Lisa Sigal and Nova Benway
Open Sessions Lab exhibition, Fall 2015. Installation view.