Draftpunk: Contemporary Drawing Practices
Please Join us FRIDAY, August 8th from 8-10pm for a Daftpunk, a small survey of contemporary drawing practices, curated by Kio Griffith.
Curated by Kio Griffith
We are continuously marginalized by technology. The modern pencil, tracing back to the Napoleon trenches of early 1800s, will draw a line 731 miles but several miles short of reaching the Oregon border if you begin the mark in south central L.A. The need for an immediate drafting tool to keep up with the growing industry spawned inventions of the ball-point pen, markers, and spray paint which now share ground with computer driven apps. Lately, returning analog has become the recent stance of the graphite rebels among us. The shimmer of the dark carbon can still outshadow its brighter cousin, the diamond.
DraftPunk is a survey of the relevant practice of drawing today extending from traditional mark-making to the conceptual significance of the medium opening up endless possibilities of experimentation.
- Kio Griffith
Marie Thiebeault’s storm tree collage/drawings, which are the majestic remains of landmark trees left standing after a major tornado flattens the landscape. These trees, left vertical, are remarkably tangled and impaled with large objects and debris, creating a symbolic clashing of force and resistance. Some become shrine like and have symbolic resonance for the surviving communities.
Jason Manley creates drawings, sculptures and public artworks that contradict the functionalism inherent of the built environment. He repurposes industrial materials such as concrete, steel, and found objects for poetic means of expression and to explore language as a physical form within the public realm.
Kiel Johnson's drawings and sculptures tell tales; layered narratives speak of his travels and adventures through everyday life. His works become a springboard for metaphorical investigations of the world he inhabits. Although both factual fictions and absurd scenarios, they are ultimately testaments to observation that force us to question the concrete and truthful. What at first might appear safe and secure will be, upon further inspection, very precarious.
Bridget Beck’s drawings act as a vehicle searching for possibilities unspeakable in terms of a constructed three-dimensional form. The drawings test the water for the new uses of materials to be created into sculpture. The cosmologies existing on the page provide a place for hardships to battle with the lighthearted and create sanctuary. The ink urges the sculptures on to new and interesting places. The drawings are also a place for personal release and fanciful stories, which break from the daily struggle of constructing the larger physical work.
Mark Dutcher brings together elements of abstraction, Surrealism, and Pop in paintings that incorporate layers of words and symbols, imprecisely rendered and frequently illegible. Often sampling song lyrics or names of former loves in his rough-hewn paintings, Dutcher explores notions of transience, loss, and death. He leaves blemishes and fingerprints visible and mistakes intact, emphasizing the artist’s hand and process.
Aili Schmeltz’s current body of work in process, Psionic Generators, combines an interest in utopic architecture and philosophy to investigate forms that claim to be ‘ESP activating’ from a 1970’s New Age book about psionic generators from a family archive from the year she was born. Psionic generators are devices that propose to activate the energy streaming from your eyes with specific proportions and relationships to induce paranormal phenomena. She manipulate the patterns and proportions of these psionic generator forms as generators of form and concept, questioning the function and result.
Dorian Wood has brought his emotionally-charged works to concert halls, museums, music venues and performance spaces throughout the US, Mexico and Europe, with a voice that channels the skill and ferocity of such auteurs as Scott Walker, Nina Simone and Tom Waits.
Rema Ghuloum makes drawings, paintings, and sculptures that inform one another and as a result become the visual language that generates subsequent work. Recently, she has been examining the work of Giorgio Morandi. Like Morandi, she arranges still lifes of her sculptures into different configurations, which she then examines from different vantage points. Subsequently, she draws or paints aspects of these arrangements from observation and memory. Her work oscillates between abstraction and representation and the illusion of two and three- dimensions. Color and material constraints control this process and arriving at a painting is as important as the finished product.
Nadege Monchera Baer’s drawings share in common an obsessive use of small gestural lines that are sometimes non-objective, sometimes abstracted figure-spirits, and other times clearly used to shape recognizable portraits… While the long view may telegraph a face, the close inspection, conveys immersion in a process divorced from the harness of definition. What appears to be almost arbitrary in their smooth unfolding flow of interlocking forms is almost ironic considering how well it disguises her normally laborious process of shaping and re-forming via re-arrangement, constant erasing, layering and re-layering, all of which which imparts a spontaneous capricious appearance that thoroughly belies the rigorous but practically invisible editing involved throughout.
Jane Hugentober invests in the physicality of her work, the resulting intimacy that is created, and what happens psychologically through the body/mind connection. Her interest is in the idea of physical memory; the memory constructed by way of the repetition of bodily experience. It is through this process that the energy created will hover within the work as an experience long after the process has ended.
Daniela Campins drawings are an indirect response to physical phenomena, memories, and even a sentiment or mood, a reaction to a place. It is a manifestation of a fleeting moment, a symptom of temporality, and a reaction to the act of drawing itself. As ruins from my personal dérive, these drawings on newsprint were produced after extensive walkabouts in East Haddam, Connecticut, during an art residency in 2013. The forest in East Haddam was freezing cold, covered in snow, and ghostly memories. The atmosphere was damp, subtle nuances infused the air, muddy forest of ancient tall trees dominated, and rocky paths presented themselves surprisingly in the middle of nowhere.