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.
Organized 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.
Read Drawing Papers 131: Jackson Mac Low: Lines-Letters-Words
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