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CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Announces Painting Between the Lines

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents Painting Between the Lines, open October 4–December 17, 2011.

With Painting Between the Lines, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts continues its investigation into the relationship between literature and art. Fourteen contemporary artists were commissioned to create paintings based on written descriptions of artworks in historical and contemporary novels. Even though writing and painting have been connected throughout history, literature has of late become a diminished subject in the medium of painting, which has looked more to history, society, and politics (and to itself) for inspiration. By reintroducing literature as a viable subject for painting, this exhibition examines the relationship between these two artistic fields, their different modes of representation, the various ways texts can be translated into images, and how both media, in unique ways, elicit responses from the viewer/reader.

Through an examination of how contemporary artists look at storytelling, literature, and writing as expressions of individual thought, Painting Between the Lines provides a look into the state of painting today and attests to the vitality of the medium, presenting some of its most innovative practitioners. The works in the show include portraiture, landscape, and abstraction, with each author’s vision rendered according to the unique approach of each artist.

A full-color exhibition catalog will be available in January 2012. It will feature images of all the newly commissioned paintings, the text passages from which each artist worked, installation photographs, and an essay by curator Jens Hoffmann on the relationship between painting and literature. Its design is inspired by library archives.

Visit and for current information concerning related programs, lectures, and events. Painting Between the Lines is curated by Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute.

Laylah Ali / Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924)
Michaël Borremans / Günter Grass, The Tin Drum (1959)
Marcel Dzama / Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (2002)
Cecilia Edefalk / August Strindberg, The Red Room (1879)
Jordan Kantor / Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom (1957)
Laura Owens / Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1953)
Clare Rojas / Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann’s Way (1913)
Wilhelm Sasnal / Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1982)
Maaike Schoorel / Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)
Norbert Schwontkowski / Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
Raqib Shaw / Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)
Fred Tomaselli / Samuel Beckett, Watt (1953)
Michael van Ofen / Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (1984)
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski / Sándor Márai, Embers (1942)

About the CCA Wattis Institute
The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area.

CCA Wattis Institute for
Contemporary Arts
California College of the Arts
Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247
T 415.551.9210

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