"If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write."— W. Somerset Maugham (via writingquotes)
dorothea rockburne: drawing which makes itself (by momavideos)
“how could drawing be of itself and not about something else?” having asked this question in 1973, the painter dorothea rockburne (american, born canada 1932) went on to answer it in visually compelling and intellectually provocative ways that tested the bounds of traditional drawing practice. this exhibition examines her groundbreaking project drawing which makes itself, of 1972–73, while highlighting the ideas that she has pursued throughout her career.
rockburne has said that paper has “terrific importance” for her: “i came to realize that a piece of paper is a metaphysical object. you write on it, you draw on it, you fold it.” she is interested in paper not just as the ground for a drawing but as an active material, its inherent qualities determining the form of the artwork. this is clear in works like scalar (1971), with its planes of chipboard and paper stained with crude oil, and in the carbon-paper drawings installed on both the wall and the floor, a series on view here in depth for the first time in forty years.
rockburne studied with a mathematician, max dehn, in the early 1950s, and his teachings on the underlying geometries in nature and art affected her profoundly. her golden section paintings (first exhibited in 1974 at this museum), as well as several series of works on paper that followed, refer to a mathematical ratio used by artists and architects since antiquity to produce shapes of harmonious proportions. rockburne’s work of later decades, including recent watercolors on view at the exhibition’s entrance, continues her exploration of these principles in nature, and specifically in the motion of planets.
Cy Twombly, Natural History, Part 1, Mushrooms, (1974)
This is one of two portfolios made in the mid 1970s, the other being Natural History Part II (Some Trees of Italy) 1976. In both of these series, Twombly uses a quasi-scientific presentation with his characteristic expressive, gestural graphic language.
Twombly, like Rauschenberg with his collage prints, was a master of this kind of aleatoric-seeming collage, loose and dispersed but nonetheless composed. The intelligible and authentic science being practiced here is the testing of graphic structure itself - testing whether, in the end, it isn’t a matter of sensitivity. Might not structure be so permissive and flexible a thing that even the chaotic, at infinite distance, has a shiver of logic? Like John Cage (who Twombly might have picked up the fascination with mushrooms from), Twombly seems to have realized how easy art can be once you stop struggling with it!