Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962–2010
This exhibition marks the first survey of drawings by Ken Price, an artist best known for his sculptural work. A selection of 65 works on paper will track Price’s pursuit of drawing over 50 years and will demonstrate a wide range of characters and techniques. This exhibition will open concurrently on June 18 with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s presentation of the traveling retrospective of Price’s sculpture that originated at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962–2010 will travel to Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, from September 27, 2013–January 19, 2014 and the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico from February 22–May 4, 2014.
Curated by Douglas Dreishpoon, Chief Curator, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Following Terry Smith's IDEAS CITY 2013 Site specific commission, The Drawing Center will present Document, a gallery exhibition of photographs, drawings, film, and notebook sketches from the project. The exhibition will take place in The Drawing Center’s Lab Gallery from June 18 – August 18, 2013.
Co-curated by Nova Benway and Aimee Good.
Susan Hefuna and Luca Veggetti
The world premiere of NOTATIONOTATIONS marks a first-time collaboration between renowned, multimedia artist Susan Hefuna (b. Germany, 1962) and contemporary choreographer Luca Veggetti (b. Italy, 1963). NOTATIONOTATIONS posits the idea that if a line is the trace of a point in motion, then the human body moving through the space of the observed world is also a drawing. Staged over three nights, this event will open and close with a new video installation by Hefuna of a bustling, lower Manhattan intersection—a literal mapping of people and place that examines movement as something that is both rehearsed and habitual. Sketched onto the floor will be an expansive web of chalk lines made by Hefuna (her largest work to date) in advance of an audience; its dramatic creation captured by film. The artist perseveres via the projection, which will be screened as Veggetti’s dancers gradually erase the drawn surface through repetitive, physical gestures. The performance culminates in a dynamic display of swooping whorls made by their distilled movements across the floor. The effect is its own form of choreographic documentation.
Produced by Brett Littman and Joanna Kleinberg Romanow.
Change and Horizontals
This intensely focused survey comprises Sean Scully’s (b. 1945, Dublin, Ireland) acrylic, ink, graphite, and masking-tape drawings from 1974–75—presented together for the first time in over 30 years—as well as two large-scale paintings from the same period and one of the artist’s personal notebooks. Scully’s maturation as a painter can easily be traced back to innovations in his early drawings. These drawings are marked by refined geometries that re-imagine the history of abstraction as an art rooted in experience—“something felt and something seen,” as the artist has said. Executed in London and New York City respectively, the Change and Horizontals drawings, along with their preparatory sketches and experimental typewriter drawings from the same period, highlight Scully’s core concern with line and color’s relation to place. Viewed together, the works chart an evolution of composition and gesture that provides unique insight into this artist’s singular aesthetic. This New York exhibition is the last stop on a tour that included the UK, Germany, and Italy.
Curated by Brett Littman and Joanna Kleinberg Romanow.
Above: Sean Scully, Change #7 (detail), 1975. Acrylic and tape on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 2/3 inches. Courtesy Neo Neo Inc, New York. Photo © Sean Scully.
Drawings from Life of Pi
Alexis Rockman’s watercolor drawings were the first stage in the development of the fantastical, imaginary world of Life of Pi, a 2012 feature film directed by Ang Lee. Lee sought out Rockman’s vision as an artist with a specific commitment to hand drawing to bring a human scale to the project, a sense of the material and the fortuitous that would come, for example, from the random bloom of watercolor pigment on paper. Though most artistic contributions to cinema are dependent on photo-realism or cartoon-like illustration, Rockman’s images are fluid, intimate, and dynamic in a way that only drawing can capture. The exhibition will provide The Drawing Center with a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between visual art—specifically drawing—and commercial filmmaking.
Curated by Brett Littman and Nova Benway.
Drawing Time, Reading Time
This exhibition is organized in conjunction with Marking Language at Drawing Room, London (October 10–December 14, 2013) and a joint publication will be produced.
This show features an international group of artists spanning the 1960s to today, all of whom are engaged in exploring the relationship between drawing and writing as distinct yet interrelated phenomenological gestures. Although now commonplace, the current predominance of language in art has its roots in an unexpected linguistic turn around 1960 as artists sought to recover a direct, sensory experience of the world outside of symbol and representation. Paradoxically perhaps, language became a favored tool in this effort with artists like Dan Graham, Mel Bochner, and Hanne Darboven manipulating the written text in an effort to evacuate predictable meaning and uncover the materiality of language as a system of signs. The exhibition considers a different path, one that emerged simultaneously with Conceptual Art but that embraced language in art as a means of questioning the written word’s communicative transparency on the one hand and visual art’s material opacity on the other. Challenging modernism’s longstanding effort to purge art of narrative association in favor of material and conceptual self-sufficiency, the artists in the exhibition pursue a hybrid aesthetic that privileges incompletion.
Curated by Claire Gilman.
Artists include Carl Andre, Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel Buchler, Guy de Cointet, Mirtha Dermisache, Sean Landers, Allen Ruppersberg, Nina Papaconstantinou, Deb Sokolow, and Molly Springfield.
Image: Allen Ruppersberg, Untitled (The Book as Object), 1976, Pencil on paper, 21 1/4 x 27 3/16 inches (54 x 69 cm) Collection of C. Christine Nichols.
This show brings together Robert Walser’s microscripts and Emily Dickinson’s original poem manuscripts for the first time. Although Walser, who was born shortly before Dickinson died, was most likely unaware of her work, both writers were obsessively private as well as peculiarly attentive to the visuality of their texts. Walser wrote in tiny, inscrutable script on narrow strips of paper using an antiquated German alphabet that was long considered indecipherable. Only recently have these scripts been shown to consist of early drafts of the author’s published texts. Similarly, Dickinson fitted her multifarious poetic fragments to carefully torn pieces of envelope or stationery, which were discovered among her posthumous papers. (W.G. Sebald called Walser a “clairvoyant of the small,” and this description might apply to Dickinson as well.) In both cases, the form of these texts affects the language itself as both writers relied on their peculiar visual strategies to overcome mental inhibitions and continue to produce meaning. Rarely in literature has the manner in which words are made been so integral to the way in which they might be read. The Dickinson/ Walser exhibition, which proposes the notion that art may be used to make language, is a fitting corollary to Drawing Time, Reading Time, which appears concurrently in the Main Gallery.
Curated by Claire Gilman.
Image: Emily Dickinson, We Talked With Each Other About Each Other, c. 1879, Amherst Manuscript #514. Pencil on Envelope, 1 sheet, 5 1/10 x 7 9/10 inches (13 x 20 cm). Courtesy The Emily Dickinson Collection, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.
Notes on Creativity
Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity is the first major museum exhibition in the world 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 within the kitchen.
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 Thieves In The Night, 2011. Oil, archival ink, flashe paint, enamel and acrylic on birch panel, 72 x 192 x 2 inches. Courtesy the artist and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles.
FIVE (The Drawing Center)
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 drawning. New York-based vogue dancers and musicians, including renowned opera singer Stefanos Koroneos; distinguished Vogue Commentator Kevin Jz Prodigy; and acclaimed Hip Hop M.C. Scanz will perform and be conducted by Newsome. This project encapsulates many of the artist’s core objectives: the formation, evolution, and ownership of cultural signifiers; the essence of historic art structures using modern urban symbols and cultural references; and the use of technology to elicit artistic expression. 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, unique line drawings produced from that performance using motion-tracking software.
Produced by Joanna Kleinberg Romanow.
Image: Exhibition print from the performance Five, 2011.
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. This piece 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.