This month I wrote a piece for the Brown Alumni Magazine about alumnae artists Dawn Clements and Kerry Tribe. Each studied visual art and semiotics at Brown and have work in the Whitney Biennial, which closes at the end of the month. Tribe, a filmmaker based in LA and Berlin, contributed a film installation about H.M., a man who lost his short term memory after undergoing experimental brain surgery in the 1950s. Clements, who makes large-scale drawings, often with a humble ballpoint pen, recently had an amazing installation at The Boiler in Brooklyn that included drawings she made on site (images above). Here’s an excerpt from the BAM article about Clements’s drawing at the Whitney:
“Clements poignantly addresses memory and loss. Mrs. Jessica Drummond’s (“My Reputation,” 1946) depicts a recently widowed woman lying in bed the morning after her husband’s funeral. Combining several scenes shot on the same bedroom stage set, Clements captures in a single expansive drawing the effects of a camera panning, shifting focus, and changing scale.
“While Clements was composing the drawing, her father died in a bicycle accident. After his funeral, she found the meticulously iterative process of marking paper well suited to mourning. ‘As I worked, I realized that the piece was about both my father’s death and my mother’s grieving,’ she says. Drawing at a small table, she added sections as necessary to coax the piece to resolution, simulating the process of grieving. Skillfully using simple tools—a ballpoint pen and thick drawing paper—Clements deftly fuses the iconographic and the personal….
“Clements doesn’t work in film, of course, and she’s had to moderate her passion for movies. ‘I used to watch up to three a day,’ she says, ‘but lately I’ve been drawing from life.’