Walk the Distance and Slow Down: Selections from the Collection of JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey
The exhibition features 29 international artists whose work highlights the ever-evolving potential of contemporary drawing through a variety of techniques, forms, and approaches that move beyond the perceived limits of paper as an artistic substrate and medium.
The exhibition lends itself to an intimate connection with the artists and their work. We are able to relate to drawing on paper as a space for contemplation and experimentation, where freedom is given to forms and ideas to be developed and processed. There is a simplicity, immediacy honesty, playfulness, and vulnerability that reveals insight into the artist’s process and gives life to the work. Whether the artist’s technique removes the artist’s hand or emphasizes it, each drawing serves as a record of the artist’s mind, a marked perception that becomes a conversation in which we are invited to engage.
For some of these artists, drawing is their primary medium, for many it is merely an extension of other forms of creation that include painting, installation art, performance, and literature. Within the exhibition, we find boundaries between artistic disciplines dissolved. Drawing becomes sculpture, musical compositions, visual poetry. Layered, repeated, and erased lines form patterns that map out geometric designs, tide levels, thought process, and movements of the body—some by meticulous imperative, others lyrically arranged.
Walk the Distance and Slow Down is a dance between visual harmony and aesthetic displacement. Defined by subtle gesture, intense physical labor or marked density that, at times, subvert ordered structures and give weight to larger political issues or deeper human contemplation. Soliciting a closer look and requiring a step back, the works in the exhibition psychologically and physically reorder space, inviting us into different dimensions of observation. Asked to Walk the Distance and Slow Down, we are encouraged and challenged to really look, to surrender to the experience, to discover, question, and want to know more.
The exhibition presents a small glimpse into the much larger collection of JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey, solely dedicated to the exploration of works on paper. It is through the thoughtful and thorough vision of the collector that we are brought to genuinely question what constitutes a drawing and asked to reconsider the potential of paper as a support for ideas and creativity.
About the Collection
The JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey Collection is a significant collection of contemporary works on paper with over 400 international, early to mid-career contemporary artists represented in the collection. While the collection initially focused on abstract works over time it has been extended to challenge traditional notions of drawing. The character of the collection is shaped by the collector’s aesthetic and is guided by strict adherence to a set of principles she has set forth for collecting. Part of the mission of the collection is to promote a deeper understanding of the nature of works on paper, all the while exploring the question, “what is drawing?”. SYZYGY has been established utilizing the collection for scholarly investigation. SYZYGY is a curatorial and study platform that extends the collection as a resource available to graduate level students for research and project development including studies in specific art genre, studio art, poetry and creative writing, curatorial practice and neuroscience. Syzygy-nyc.org