The Bike Room is pleased to present miniature works by the sculptor Judith Brotman. I Dozed, I Napped, I Writhed, I Dreamed, a project of drawing assemblages, is a novel offering for this artist whose better-known installations have populated more hefty, cubic dimensions.
Equally new is the reduced palette and keen range of materials that Brotman has opted for – stiff black thread stitched into paper, Mylar and other plastic detritus. The calligraphic simplicity evokes freshly scrawled cursive. Line, design’s plainest element, is cast into every imaginable role in these vignettes: line-as-boundary, as connector, as descriptor, as adornment. Each contour is a precise yet tenuous filament –– a tightrope treading between emptiness and detailed obsession, a gathering of staccato clips and sustained strokes.
I Dozed, I Napped, I Writhed, I Dreamed coaxes us to witness intimacies. We behold more than what we see – connected fragments of milky white – tinker toys erecting all manner of allusion. Ever-present is the performative act of rhythmic labor – the forcing of a dull needle through hard polyester with clumsy grace; a delicate scrape is heard as string rubs plastic, like nails on a chalkboard.
Judith Brotman’s extensive visibility includes shows at the DeVos Art Museum, Michigan, the Hampshire College Art Gallery, Amherst, MA, and in Chicago, Three Walls, the Chicago Cultural Center and the Hyde Park Art Center. Brotman is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Contemporary Practices and Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she holds an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies.