Tuesday, September 03, 2013
ON DRAWING LINE at at Holly Johnson Gallery
Sharon Engelstein - Young Ghost, 2012
Ink on paper
30 x 22 inches
Repost of my article at ModernDallas.net
A passion of mine is intense detail drawings. I enjoy looking at these kinds of drawings, analyzing them, and making this kind of work myself. So, when Holly Johnson Gallery shows an incredibly complex group of drawings by 10 talented artists and one work by me, I have to write about it. Drawing has grown up into its own powerful art form, especially of late. Spectrum expansion of what a finished artwork can be has a lot to do with this phenomenon, but many artists that do drawings are now working with preliminary drawings or plans before they execute the work, much in the tradition of painters.
Drawings have become so complex that planning, testing, and working problems out before the finished piece is even started have become common place. Maybe not every artist in the show stresses before moving over to a final piece of paper, but it sure feels like they do. In the catalog for the show, Christopher French wrote a stellar paper about line drawing and some of the philosophical ideas behind these works. His words are matched with his symmetrical drawing which seem to reverberate his ideas.
Purity of geometry is also not lost by artists Anna Bogatin and Nicole Phungrasamee Fein. Their grids are meticulously drawn out in an almost meditative manner. I met Richard Nix at the opening and I was happy to talk a little shop with him. He clued me in on a few new pens to try out. Nix also allows geometric principles to command his work, but with a bit more informal flare. I could relate to Nix’s compulsion to make precise drawings.
I saw that Theresa Chong and Lauren Seiden seem to have a more fluid approach to drawing, but with well structured personal rules which dominate the papers with their marks. Mark Seinkman’s rules seemed oddly familiar or connected to the physical world. You might say, Seinkman was the only artist that gave the illusion his drawing might live beyond Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland. His work has dimensionality and a textured look of the real, while maintaining a feeling of abstract.
Computers seem an influence in both Sharon Engelstein and Jacob el Hanani’s work. The lines shift and move like a machine might have helped plot out each point. Jillian Conrad’s drawing also had a machine element, but more like a planning or programming flow chart, than any kind of aided drawing.
I feel close to all these artists in their approach, style, and passion. Each artist was worth mentioning, because each artist contributed a solid piece for the show. I was proud to be included with these talented artists and I hope you will take the time before August 17th to see the show at Holly Johnson Gallery or you could even pick up a catalog titled On Drawing: Line.
ModernDallas.net for more images