Drawn From Photography at DPAM

If you’re in the Chicago area, be sure to check out the new shows at the DePaul Art Museum near the Fullerton Redline Stop.

The museum is featuring 2 shows, the first is Drawn from Photography, curated by Claire Gilman and organized by The Drawing Center, New York. The exhibition explores contemporary works, which meticulously explore line and pattern towards mimicking various photographic processes familial to mass media and commercial processes.

The 2nd show at the museum is called The Nature Drawings of Peter Karklins. July 12-November 19, 2012. Karklins was a Chicago artist and security guard in the 1960s that produced small, intricate drawings on trains to and from his work, or at a desk on the night shift. This exhibition is truly a special treat to see up close with each drawing being about 4x5inches in size and yet extremely detailed with precise value shifts and graphic textures.

Nature Drawings of Peter Karklins
Nature Drawings of Peter Karklins

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that these exhibitions run parallel to the Lichtenstein show at the Art Institute of Chicago. As you may know Lichtenstein was an artist who’s namesake is also wrapped up in the delicate task of mimicking the printed image through non-mechanical marks.

I must admit that as a Printmaker, I mistook many graphic drawings at DPAM as merely Photo-transfers or graphite etchings/screen-prints-but after close inspection it was impressive to discover the delicate drawings in works such as Emily Prince. Her installation of thousands of small drawings on vellum titled “American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (but not including the Wounded, nor the Iraqis nor the Afghans), 2004-Present” is both intriguing and endearing. Prince began transcribing photographs of fallen American soldiers in 2004 and uses 5 shades of paper to suggest different skin tones of each officer.

“American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (but not including the Wounded, nor the Iraqis nor the Afghans), 2004-Present”
Emily Prince, “American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (but not including the Wounded, nor the Iraqis nor the Afghans), 2004-Present”
“American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (but not including the Wounded, nor the Iraqis nor the Afghans), 2004-Present”
Emily Prince, Close Up, DePaul Art Museum

The work creates a wonderful experience for the viewer through repetition and texture. The physical presence of the drawings brings us into the space, while the intimate details of each hand drawn portrait provides a personal connection to the intent of the marking and the meaning of the image.

Another ongoing installation is Mary Temple’s “Currency, April 1-August 19, 2007-Present”. It’s a daily project in which temple illustrates an image of a world leader from a Web-based news source. And positions the drawings through her personal levels of hopefulness about the day’s events. Temple completes each drawing, sends it to the gallery and has them print and add each daily work to the existing installation as a working diary.

Mary Temple’s “Currency, April 1-August 19, 2007-Present”.
Mary Temple, “Currency, April 1-August 19, 2007-Present” at DPAM

The spatial relationships between each drawing creates an implied dialogue of unsaid commentary and events that could or have occurred with these political figures and invites the viewer to imagine the linear progression of these transcriptions is leading us towards a kind of prophetic state of affairs.

All in all the appreciation of graphite on paper is in force at DPAM and worth a walk through.

-Christina Long

Andrea Bowers  Angela Davis-You Are Welcome in This House (In Honor of Julian Madyun), 2011
Andrea Bowers Angela Davis-You Are Welcome in This House (In Honor of Julian Madyun), 2011
Michele Feder-Nadoff, Chayah, 20120 Sumi-e Ink on Persimmon Paper
Michele Feder-Nadoff, Chayah, 20120 Sumi-e Ink on Persimmon Paper

“Drawn from Photography” runs through Aug. 19 at the DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-325-7506, museums.depaul.edu

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