Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Non-D Drawing

The drawings I have made for the Drawing Center are the culmination of a series I started in 2005 while living in Jeonju, South Korea where my studio was above an old silkworm factory. The idea I had at that time was to engage in this activity which would push through standard origins and notions of art product and imagery. I fixed on producing 1000 drawings as a way to try to put this idea into a certain and specific realization.

I never want to repeat a composition or fall into the trap of a set formula. At the same time I limit myself to a self contained “abstract” vocabulary. Balls, circles, squares, rooms, colors, shapes, marks, lines, shadows and light tumble, sit, float, bump, act and interact with each other in the field of the (mostly) two dimensional surface. I let the vocabulary lead the way. I start with a fuzzy and undefined desire to “make” something and then I go from there.

I use magic marker, pencil, vinyl, cut paper, collage on foam core or paper. I use these materials because they are quick and it lets me move one rapidly enough so my thought doesn’t get too far ahead of the process. I have also made my own thumb tacks out of plastic resin to further realize the totality of the practice. To make a viewer even more aware of the act of approaching the work, I have subtly manipulated the environment in which the drawings exist.

I have discovered there was a very fine line between what constitutes a cut up scrap that hits the floor after constant editing and a “finished” drawing. The drawings in many ways are very fragile and barely exist, but in another way the existence is very concrete because there is strength in numbers. The more I create the more the unity exists. I strive NOT to make my drawings “about” anything other than this. I placed what could be interpreted as a large “empty space” in the center of my work. I knew my work wasn’t a political statement, a personal narrative or a form of cathartic therapy. Issues with which many of my contemporaries seemed to be concerned with.

It was a selection of drawings from the 1000 drawing project that I first presented to the curator of the Drawing Center. Through those meetings I was able to further focus and therefore expand the project. I began to realize how to tie in what I was already doing within a critical and historical framework. I saw I was not alone in my pursuit of what came to be known as “Nondeclarative Drawing”. I think many(if not all) artists are faced with the shadow of “meaninglessness” hovering over their work. Out of fear, they self consciously seek to layer and inject their work with “meaning” and inadvertently render it vacuous. Artists in this exhibit make seemingly simple objects where the depth you see in those objects is in proportion to the depth you bring to them. We don’t fear to make the work more about the viewer than ourselves.


for mark