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Non-Declarative Art Selections Fall 2007

The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street, 212-219-2166
September 14 - October 18, 2007
Reception: Thursday, September 13, 6 - 8 PM
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From September 14 to October 18, 2007, The Drawing Center will present Non-Declarative Art: Selections Fall 2007, featuring the work of thirteen emerging artists selected from the Viewing Program. The artists in Non-Declarative Art intelligently explore ambiguity, the minimization of information, and the rejection of overt meaning. If “declarative” art seeks to inform the viewer about the artist’s views, non-declarative art seeks a lack of explicitness, putting the onus on the viewer to determine its meaning. By obscuring clear and obvious readings, these works allow for open-ended interpretation, empowering the viewer and activating the viewing experience. Participating artists include: Susan Goethel Campbell, Gianna Commito, Michael Diaz, Jeff Feld, Sabine Finkenauer, Prajakti Jayavant, Steven Lowery, Howard Rosenthal, Jay Sheldon, Jered Sprecher, John Tallman, Sally Tittmann, and Gregor Wright. Non-Declarative Art is curated by Luis Camnitzer.

On Saturday, September 15 at 4 pm, The Drawing Center will present a free gallery talk with artists in Non-Declarative Art and exhibition curator Luis Camnitzer.


Susan Goethel Campbell (Huntington Woods, MI) uses layers of gesso to obscure information on pages taken from landscape-engineering books. What remains is a minimal visual anchor that possesses the aura of a technical illustration but no obvious subject matter. Disguised as an aesthetician, Gianna Commito (Kent, OH) makes works that look at first like regular formalist paintings and drawings, but turn out to have no traditional compositional order or aesthetic ambition.Michael Diaz (Santa Fe, NM) works with traces rather than images. His simple lines halt, disappear, and reemerge, leading the viewer on an intricate and meditative journey. Jeff Feld (New York, NY) creates images with an abstract sense of composition and a calculated casualness. For this exhibition, Feld presents a series of drawings using ink, enamel, and inter-office envelopes. Sabine Finkenauer (Barcelona, Spain) uses an abstracted figuration to capture and restore the life and identity of everyday objects that are obscured through constant usage. Prajakti Jayavant (San Francisco, CA) creates forms that resemble icons or mute reliefs composed of carefully folded and dented paper built up with layers of paint. Like inscrutable faces, they contain a complexity that both pulsates outward and remains concealed within a masking shell, refusing to be explained or described. The drawings of Steven Lowery (London, United Kingdom) are embellished with obsessive and overwhelmingly complex lines, obfuscating trivial and fragmentary statements hidden within. Howard Rosenthal’s (New York, NY) realistic drawings of rocks become vehicles of meditation and knowledge. They look alike-their exquisite details are all identical-and together they express the absence of individual significance. Jay Sheldon (New York, NY) works with discarded materials and organizes them in collaged blobs that impart a faintly cartoonish atmosphere. In Sheldon’s art, trash serves as a portal to a world where everything we neglect and lose is allowed to pursue a new life. Jered Sprecher (Knoxville, TN) addresses the concepts of unpredictability, dissonance, and non-order through his drawings, which stop just short of affirmative resolution. The drawings John Tallman (Lookout Mountain, TN) made for Non-Declarative Art are the culmination of a series of 1,000 drawings he started in 2005 while living in Jeonju, South Korea. Tallman limits himself to a self-contained “abstract” vocabulary and the use of simple materials such as magic marker and pencil on paper, creating a situation where forms, support, and means of support blend into a unity that appears to lack a beginning or end. For the last several years, Sally Tittmann (New York, NY) has been drawing indefinable “things.” Somewhere between a rock and a potato, these subtle, impeccably accomplished graphite drawings read alternately as living and non-living matter. Gregor Wright (Glasgow, Scotland) draws from memory and imagination, yet the work is not about himself or his specific experiences. The deliberate choice of mundane subjects and creation of ambiguous forms and impossible spaces in his drawings are the artist’s way of avoiding both abstraction and figuration.


Accompanying Non-Declarative Art will be Drawing Papers 71, a 32-page edition of The Drawing Center’s publication series. Drawing Papers 71 will contain statements by each artist and black-and-white images of works in the exhibition as well as an introduction by Luis Camnitzer.
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