December 20, 2007

What's a drawing anyway?

"Drawing the Line: 20th Drawing Show," selected by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. Artists include Cree Bruins, Lana Z. Caplan, Matthew Cleary, Mark Epstein, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, A. Jacob Galle, Jenine Haard, Robert Hernandez, Annie Heisey, Yasemin Kackar-Demirel, Jason La Croix, Jeffrey Marshall, Lior Neiger , Bob Oppenheim , Dave Ortega , Marilyn Pappas, Mia Pearlman, Evelyn Rydz, Pat Shannon, Jennifer Schmidt, Leslie Schomp, Michelle Samour, Jill Slosburg-Ackerman, Nancy Murphy Spicer, Maxine Yalovitz-Blankenship.

In the Boston Globe, Cate McQuaid applauds the nerviness of the show, but thinks some of Campos-Pons' choices cross the line. "Juried shows can be haphazard; this one, featuring work by 26 artists, hangs together well, and despite a few missteps, the work is generally engaging. But the inclusion of certain pieces - particularly a handful of videos - seems beyond cheeky. To me, drawing must include a gesture made by hand. A couple of animated videos may fall under the gestural umbrella, but A. Jacob Galle's '4.11.04 ice cutting,' a grainy, black-and-white video of a guy chopping ice out of a frozen lake, doesn't cut it. Jennifer Schmidt's three-channel digital video installation 'Tulipomania/Everquest' features a montage of photos of tulips and tulip motifs; occasionally, an emblem of the flower appears on all three screens, as if you've a hit the jackpot. This piece has nothing to do with drawing. I also question Cree Bruins's installation of black-and-white photos, mounted like piano keys on the wall, each depicting a notched strip of blank film. It's a clever, jazzy piece, but it's not a drawing. Matthew Cleary's poured-paint installation is eye-catching, but it's a painting." Read more.

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