Open Sessions 6
Open Sessions continues with artist-directed group exhibitions. Open Sessions 6 features the work of Amadeo Azar, Daniel Barroca, Youmna Chlala, Lea Cetera, Onyedika Chuke, Alexandra Lerman, Harold Mendez, Marcelo Moscheta, and Ronny Quevedo. Organized by the artists and Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal, Curators of the Open Sessions program.
Amadeo Azar explores the interrelation between the visual languages of modernism with political and social movements in Latin America, and the way those Utopian moments were disrupted as they encountered local circumstances. Daniel Barroca works with memory and history. His projects map forces anchored by images, objects, words, historical figures, and ideas. Lea Cetera produces temporal installations that examine the mediation of technology and the alienation of the human body. Through recent installations that include filmed performances, the artist attempts to create an alienating/disorienting illusory effect. Youmna Chlala investigates architecture and fate. Her work is situated in places or bodies that translate themselves against or through an external world that is constantly trying to name them. Onyedika Chuke has been assembling an archive termed “The Forever Museum”—a collection of objects and images based on Internet-sourced documents that redistribute images and theories pertaining to civilizations, political rebellions, riots, and warfare. Alexandra Lerman proposes clay as a discursive medium. Her ink circulation drawings and "memory negatives" use copyrighted and patented systems to explore the complexities of contemporary body language and refer to the body located within institutional and natural environments. Harold Mendez draws upon ideas of absence and displacement to reference reconstructions of place and identity in the United States and Latin America, with a focus on how the past manifests in the present, and thereby trigger new inquiry. Marcelo Moscheta excavates the memories inscribed in the stone paths left by the ancient civilizations and uses GPS coordinates to draw his displacement over the surface of the planet. Ronny Quevedo traces culture through history, language, and mapping. Using a variety of forms from personal anecdotes to colloquialisms, coats of arms to store signage, games to modules, his work addresses concepts of displacement.
Organized by the artists and Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal, Curators of the Open Sessions program.
Image: Ronny Quevedo, The History of the Rules and Measures #2, detail, 2012. Enamel, chalkboard paint and chalk on paper removed from drywall, 96” x 48”. Courtesy of the artist.
Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture
For her first solo museum show in New York, artist Louise Despont has been commissioned by The Drawing Center to create a site-specific, large-scale architectural installation. While she is best known for her incredibly complex and unique drawings on antique paper, for Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture she will be designing two contrasting built structures, both of which are informed by her recent travels to Bali. The first structure will be a rectangular, roofed room, its exterior surface covered with cut dowel pegs. Inside, Despont will install a series of abstract drawings depicting different circulatory systems. The second structure will be an open-roof oval room, its exterior covered by a loosely draped linen cloth. Inside, Despont will install a five foot high by sixty foot long frieze-like drawing that will completely fill the interior walls. This unified drawing will explore and visualize energy paths found in the natural world.
Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Image: Louise Despont, Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture, (detail), 2015. Graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages. Courtesy of the artist.
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital
Since her first one-person exhibition in New York in 1970, Jennifer Bartlett has been well-known for her process-based works exploring grids and other forms of order, which subvert these systems even as they work within their confines. Alongside this body of abstract work, Bartlett has also produced pastel drawings based on her immediate surroundings. These pastels are essential to understanding Bartlett’s vocal and critical rejection of the rigid distinction between abstraction and figuration, and highlight the fluidity between these ways of working in her practice.
The Hospital series of pastels was made during Bartlett’s extended hospital stay. These pastels are based on a series of photographs she took in the hospital that she later cropped and edited in her studio. With these works, Bartlett continues her long-established practice of close observation and responsiveness to her environment. The drawings mine the liminal experience of "hospital time." Hospital environments are often highly organized by routines of medication or physical therapy, while also filled with long moments of waiting and boredom. This combination often heightens one's awareness of minute details and Bartlett exploits these sensations to create images that eschew sentimentality while remaining indelibly poignant. The Drawing Center’s exhibition will be the first time these ten pastels will be on public view.
Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.
Image: Jennifer Bartlett, Hospital, 2012, Pastel on paper, 30 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Locks Gallery, Philadelphia. 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.