Over the past few years I have been working both within and against a particular underlying grid. Initially, the grid was rigid and individual works were differentiated solely by the relative scale of their grid. With each successive piece, the scale of the underlying grid diminished yielding a progressively more compressed field. In response to this successive compression, I began to work concurrently on drawings of loosely structured, freehand mutations of the original pattern. The more relaxed structure opened the work up, leading to the cursive web-like configurations of more recent work.
I’ve been working on three large undertakings simultaneously. My intention is to create a number of room-size installations of drawings mounted directly onto the walls. Each of these will be built up cumulatively of thousands of smaller serial images. What differentiates these endeavors from each other is that each is based on a different paradigm. The model for one project is a tightly drawn web-like pattern in pencil (or ballpoint pen) on 3x5” note cards. In the second project, parallel ruled lines on 8.5x11” card stock and their attendant splotches create a rhythmic configuration. In the third project, Japanese-style folding notebooks are stacked and pinned directly to the wall. I began this project five years ago, as a way of carrying my studio with me. Each notebook is a discreet statement or phrase. Stacking them on a wall creates a flood of such phrases. The density of line and physicality of the pleated pages generates a strong sense of spatial compression.
The drawing is spontaneous, avoiding any overriding compositional themes. The order of the books on the wall is arbitrary. Within the pages of the individual notebooks, thoughts, musings, quotes appear, unexpectedly disrupting the obsessive fabric of the drawing – unlike the other concurrent projects which avoid figurative elements).
I think of these projects as variations on the historic form of the fresco cycle.
Artist Bio / CV
Harvey Tulcensky is an artist living and working in New York.
Most recently, Tulcensky has been included in exhibitions at the Edward Thorp Gallery and Haim Chanin Fine Arts, both in New York, and at the Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles. Over the past 20 years his work has been included in various exhibitions in the United States, Europe and South America and last year, the Museum of Modern Art, New York acquired several of his drawings.
His work is mostly characterized by serial, obsessive, abstract drawings and paintings, sometimes over pre-existing photographic imagery. In addition, he has shown a portfolio of idiosyncratic black and white photographs, evocative of the aesthetics of Film Noir.
Tulcensky collects Outsider Art and vintage photography and has co-authored a seminal book on the topic of Real Photo Postcards, published by Princeton Architectural Press.