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The Drawing Center Presents Drawn from Photography

Drawn from Photography, on view in the Main Gallery from February 18–March 31, 2011, showcases 13 artists who use drawing to meticulously translate images originally received through photo-based media or digital circulation. Drawings feature scenes of social transformation from the last two centuries including scenes of war and protest as well as views of urban landscapes and industrial developments. Whether using found media sources or their own snapshots, the artists share a reconstructive, labor-intensive impulse that counteracts the rapid dissemination of information that defines the media age.

More than any other art form, drawing is traditionally understood to be an inherently intimate and direct means of expression. Although recreating images first made by a camera’s impersonal lens may appear to counter the drawn gesture’s authorial imprint, the work in Drawn from Photography can be seen as embodying its own kind of agency. In this presentation, personal attention and slowing down oppose the experience of alienation in a world increasingly mediated by technological representation. Drawing as translation—at once utterly individual and fundamentally egoless—privileges time spent, care, and attention as forms of commitment in their own right.

The artists in the exhibition adopt a variety of approaches to their subjects. Emily Prince and Mary Temple create evolving installations that respond to contemporary events like the war in Iraq; Andrea Bowers, Sam Durant, D-L Alvarez, and Frank Selby replicate iconic photos of political clashes and counter-cultural movements; Fernando Bryce comprehensively redraws historical documents; and Ewan Gibbs and Richard Forster copy their own snapshots of the changing, industrial landscape. In each case, drawing as translation marks a desire for agency coupled with a sense of the distance between “reality out there” and the artist’s attempt to comprehend or impact it.

D-L Alvarez, Andrea Bowers, Fernando Bryce, Sam Durant, Ewan Gibbs, Karl Haendel, Richard Forster, Serkan Özkaya, Emily Prince, Frank Selby, Paul Sietsema, Mary Temple, Christian Tomaszewski

Saturday, February 19, 2pm
A panel discussion featuring artists in the exhibition, including Andrea Bowers, Richard Forster, Karl Haendel, and Emily Prince, who will speak about their work.

Thursday, March 3, 6:30pm
SoHo Night
Reading by novelist, Lynne Tillman
Tillman will read her Drawing Papers essay, entitled Drawing from a Translation Artist.

Saturday, March 5, 2pm
Curator Claire Gilman and select artists in the exhibition, including Ewan Gibbs, Frank Selby, Mary Temple, and Christian Tomaszewski, will lead an exhibition walk-through.

To accompany the exhibition, The Drawing Center has produced an edition in the Drawing Papers series. The publication features an essay by Claire Gilman and a new essayistic story by Lynne Tillman. Artist Serkan Özkaya has created a hand-drawn copy of Gilman’s essay, which is published along with approximately 50 color reproductions of works from the exhibition.

Hours are Wednesday, 12pm–6pm, Thursday, 12pm–8pm, and Friday–Sunday, 12pm–6pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). The Drawing Center is wheelchair accessible.

The exhibition Drawn from Photography and its accompanying publication are made possible in part by an anonymous donor, Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Rohatyn, The Arginteanu Family, Charlotte and Bill Ford, Donald B. Marron, and Beth Rudin DeWoody.

The Drawing Center is the only not-for-profit fine arts institution in the country to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and contemporary. It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists; to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history; and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture.

Image: Christian Tomaszewski, “Hunting for Pheasants (Anna Politkovskaya),” 2008. Pencil/ink-jet print, 28 x 21 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Michael Wiesehöfer Galerie, Cologne, Le Guern Gallery, Warsaw.

The Drawing Center 35 Wooster Street (between Grand and Broome) New York, NY

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