Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture
Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture will be 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 antique 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, will consist of a wooden façade covered by wooden dowels that create a textured and protected surface. For Despont, the series of eight Pure Potential drawings represent the transition from formlessness into form. The second architectural space, which is oval in shape, will hold 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 entity that is manifested in but not dependent on 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 simultaneously in relation to 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 will invite conceptual artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner to create a site specific gamelatron, an original instrument constructed by Kuffner that is a robotized 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, male), detail, 2015. Graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages. Courtesy of the artist.
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 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer 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 InThe 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, 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," 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 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.
“Please Make This Look Nice”
For “Please Make This Look Nice”: The Graphic Design Process as an Act of Drawing a simulated studio will be installed in The Drawing Center’s Lab gallery. A series of invited designers will occupy the gallery while they work on solving unique graphic design problems (type design, logotype, book cover, poster, editorial, motion, and more) assigned by the curator. The physical manifestations of their processes will be output, displayed, projected, and streamed live.
This project specifically posits the idea that the graphic design process is itself an act of drawing, as worthy of intensive exploration as the final products. The exhibition looks to expand the most basic understanding of graphic design by turning attention away from finished design solutions—the “what” of graphic design—to consider the “how” and “why,” focusing on the myriad techniques and methodologies involved in the process (writing, mood boarding, traditional drawing/illustration, collage, storyboarding, research, collecting, and digital drawing). By looking at this process as a non-linear drawing practice, the connections between research, inspiration, tangents, digressions, experimentation, brainstorming, play, refinement, collaboration, and execution are revealed. Demystifying the creative process and moving beyond what is often seen as either a simply stylistic or purely strategy-driven enterprise, this project aims to provide a new basis upon which we may understand the work that comprises our visual world.
Curated by Peter Ahlberg, AHL&CO, New York.
Image: Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller, Poster for Cooper Union School of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series (detail), 1985. Paper, photostats, white paint, black marker, rubber cement, non-repro blue pencil, 26 1/2 x 44 inches. Courtesy The Herb Lubalin Study Center at The Cooper Union.
Drawing Dialogues: The Sol LeWitt Collection
Sol LeWitt’s status as one of the greatest American artists of the past half century is well established. What is less known is that LeWitt was also an avid collector who amassed during his lifetime an extraordinary ensemble of over seven thousand pieces by approximately seven hundred and fifty artists. The majority represent LeWitt’s friends and peers whom he admired and encouraged through purchase, exchange, and gifts; but the collection also reaches backwards and forwards in time to embrace art from other periods and cultures. The LeWitt collection is a remarkable example of an artist’s extraordinary curiosity and generosity, as well as a portrait of artistic developments in the 1960s and 70s, when European and American conceptual and minimal art came into their own. Indeed, the collection can be viewed as a lived archive of the world in which LeWitt moved and worked, even as it examines the possibilities for conceptual art across media, disciplines, and time periods.
It is this expansive vision that Drawing Dialogues: The Sol LeWitt Collection will explore through the lens of drawing specifically. The LeWitt collection contains (and the exhibition will show) classic examples of conceptual drawing from the movement’s key players like Mel Bochner and Hanne Darboven but it also includes work by artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Jan Dibbets, Eva Hesse, and Kazuko Miyamoto that investigates the parameters of mark-making in unexpected materials and formats. In addition, the exhibition will feature contributions by older artists whose methods inspired LeWitt’s own approach and younger artists whose work resonates with an earlier generation while extending the medium in new directions. Presenting over a hundred works by more than sixty artists in drawing, sculpture, photography, and installation, Drawing Dialogues: The Sol LeWitt Collection will re-examine conceptual art and the parameters of the drawn medium through the organizing lens of one of its greatest practitioners.
Curated by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator of The Drawing Center, and Béatrice Gross, Guest Curator.
Image: Hanne Darboven, Zeichnung, 1968, Ink on paper. 39 3/8 x 27 1/2 inches. LeWitt Collection, Chester, CT.
2016 Prix Canson
The Prix Canson, one of the most prestigious annual drawing prizes in the world, is partnering with The Drawing Center to exhibit the works of their 2016 finalists from June 20 through July 1, 2016. Canson® and The Drawing Center are linked by their shared passion for drawing and by their ambition to promote art to wide and diverse audiences. Past Prix Canson exhibitions have been held in major museums and galleries in Paris and Barcelona. Previous winners of the Prix Canson have been: Fabien Mérelle (2010), Ronald Cornelissen (2011), Virginia Chihota (2013), and Simon Evans (2014). These winners represent the best artists today worldwide who are working with drawing. The Prix Canson president for 2016 is the world-renowned Brazilian artist Tunga. He will be joined by a jury of top museum directors, curators, and collectors in the art world. During the Prix Canson exhibition at The Drawing Center, Canson® will host a series of talks, presentations, and events with the finalists for the public and press. As well, Canson® will also create a special pop-up shop in The Drawing Center’s bookstore featuring one-of-kind items, specialty paper, and a wide selection of their artist sketch books.