William Shearburn Gallery is pleased to present “On Paper,” a salon-style group exhibition celebrating a full spectrum of unique works on paper, a medium granting both immediacy and intimacy. The famous and the lesser known will be hung cheek to cheek in dialogue. Styles and genres will bend and boundaries blur.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s crayon drawing from 1982 features an animated skull head, a noose and a hooded figure in anxious configuration. The text in David Kramer’s drawing, on the other hand, proclaims “I want to surround myself with those who make me feel good about my life,” a sentiment undercut by the two golden Miller High Life bottles represented next to the text.
In a more pastoral vein, a lush charcoal and watercolor drawing by Terry Winters casually but masterfully depicts a small branch with its shadow. Ingrid Calame layers color pencil tracings of found marks or stains on mylar to build an evocative abstract landscape. Philip Taaffe mines the flat decorative language of abstracted vegetable life in a tile-like drawing from 1993.
James Siena’s drawing of rectangles nested within rectangles shares an obsessive quality and oddly provokes the feeling of being looked at. T.R. Ericsson conjures ghosts with his image of a typewritten note executed in nicotine smoke.
Jacques Villon’s 1905 pencil portrait of a seated woman in a hat is perhaps the most traditional image of the exhibition, yet by 1913 he would exhibit his cubist drypoints in the historic Armory show in New York. Alex Katz continues this figurative tradition in a stylized pencil portrait of a woman, while Christopher Warrington renders it poignantly absurd with his cartoonish “Fruit Eater,” a hybrid dog-lady figure eating a banana. Robert Medvedz explodes the head, delicately detailing a problematic jumble of organic and inorganic matter, creating a portrait of us as we are now.