SLAG Gallery, a two-year old space showcasing contemporary works by lesser-known Eastern European artists, presents an exciting group exhibition that examines the limits of drawing and the fundamental shape of a line. Closing on June 19th, Out of Line incorporates five artists’ explorations of a line’s energy, form, and function. From intertwining neon lines, to a bilingual scroll of text and a piece of draped cloth, Out of Line challenges the conventional concept of line that is purely bound to drawing on paper.
Out of Line is a must-see promoting debate and discussion surrounding the primary aspect of a line and the elements of drawing. Perhaps the most easily accepted line form is exemplified in Molly Stevens’ large ink mountain landscapes on paper. As the eye follows the billowing curves, the lines move together and apart charged with a wave-like intensity. The tangled neon tubes of artist Nils Folke Anderson further illustrate this sense of a single line having multiple directions. In Series Link (2008), Anderson shows how a line, devoid of the traditional pen and paper but infused with electricity, possesses a pace and a movement, an idea representative of the entire show. Elana Herzog’s Untitled (1992), a bright piece of red cloth tacked to the white wall, demonstrates what the artist calls a “sculptural drawing” by presenting the unpredictability of draping fabric and the resultant illumination of new forms. Anne-Lise Coste’s bilingual stream of consciousness develops down a charcoal gray scroll adding an element of actual language to the concept of a line. Furthermore, the large-scale figural drawings by Carin Riley combine the personal meaning and sense of movement inherent in each piece.
Whether electrified literally or seemingly, the artwork in the exhibition ignites the space with an energetic display of diverse interpretations and examples of the limits of drawing and line. The show’s emphasis on comparison and conversation is bolstered by the accompanying live blog, Donkey Trail that publishes reviews of the exhibition and dialogues between the curator and her fellow artists. — Mica Medoff, Special Projects Intern