Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present Draw the Line, an exhibition of drawing, installation and painting that explores the theme of the line in art.
In his essay “The Role of Line in Art” Wyndham Lewis speaks of the line as “the bone beneath the pulp”. This idea of the essential structure underlying the construction of a work is the starting point for Draw the Line. While Lewis was speaking specifically of drawing, this exhibition seeks to explore the line in a broader context.
Marci MacGuffie’s site-specific installation takes its inspiration from bars and cells. The lines that constrain can also harbor a plethora of worlds within them, existing on the macro and micro levels. Don Gummer’s collages cut layers of line that rest over a sparkling setting, evincing a sense of the sculptural despite their attachment to paper.
Lauren Seiden’s delicate markings pull us closer as we seek to find the paths laid out in her monochromatic drawings that float as if suspended in time and space. Each line feels as fleeting as light, but yet has an arresting permanence.
Warren Isensee also relies on a modest amount of space to communicate a large amount of information. His perfectly rendered lines bend around themselves to create totems and rhythms of space.
Playful blasts of color illuminate both the work of Gary Petersen and Margaret Lanzetta, sending neon flashes out as if warning of unstable and easily changeable surfaces. Bright colors also illuminate the work of Marina Adams, whose swirling parachute of paint is contained in a square, but seems to swirl beyond the canvas. Also leaping out of the frame is Stephen Westfall, whose optical stripes jump with precise coordination. Both Almond Zigmund and the graffiti artist Depoe have literally escaped the bounds of the canvas and created installation wall paintings that use the
gallery’s architecture to explore the limits of the line and our perception when surrounded by an engineered environment.
Sandi Slone’s tondos are a surprise: the lines cut across them like broad roads or sashes with an aggressive intensity that belies their beauty. Joey Archuleta build a new type of surface on his panels- ripping, sewing and marking the canvas covering like he is rebuilding the painting after a war. An assault on the work is also present in Samuel T. Adams’ paintings: the works have been bleached and stained so that the frame is visible from the front, seeming like a ghost window and reminding us of the materiality of the pieces. Field Kallop also builds to destroy- her work is cut up
and sewn back together, creating an interruption in the delicate galaxy that spins out from the fabric.
Jennifer Riley and Greg Hopkins both address the idea of hidden surfaces- patterns reveal hidden colors and buried loops within their canvases, producing a many layered surface while remaining entirely flat. The surface is also of interest to Chuck Webster, whose use of antique book leaves for his watercolors lends a gravity that comes with the combination of painting and lettering. The watercolors of Erik Jeor have a similar tension between light and darknessthe lines of his ink are allowed to pool before being called back into strict submission.
The use of line is as basic a tool as an artist has at hand, and whether breaking free of the grid or embracing the confinement of the axis the line remains at the beginning and the end of composition.