January 17, 2008

Alan Saret at The Drawing Center

"Alan Saret: Gang Drawings," The Drawing Center, New York, NY. Through Feb. 7.

Alan Saret was part of the Soho alternative art scene in the late 1960s and 70s, and one of the pioneers of process art and post-minimal art. The Drawing Center presents the artist’s “gang drawings,” made from fistfuls of colored pencils swept across the page, spanning from the 1960s to the present. In the NYSun, David Cohen reports that Saret's use of clustered pencils manages at once to deny the expressive agency of the hand and to generate suggestive chance effects. "The result is a curious fusion of severity and opulence. These drawings have a rigor and clarity that recalls the process art of the 1970s, yet formally harks back to the lyrical innocence of Abstract Expressionism, as do their mystical inclinations. The feathery strokes and singing colors of 'Prana Spectrum Trace'(1989) might bring Joan Mitchell to some people's minds. The general sense of disembodied gesture that animates many of these at once graceful and awkward drawings relates directly to Jackson Pollock, with little acknowledgement of minimalist denial." Read more.

Read more about the show at Catherine Spaeth's art blog, Catherine's Art Tours. Spaeth writes about Saret's shift from sculpture to drawing, and the influence his
studies at the Ramana Maharshi Ashram in southern India had on his artmaking practice.

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