Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Review: Skirting the Line

"Skirting the Line"
Conceptual Drawing
at the Peeler Art Center
by Kaytie Johnson

I recently became aware of the Peeler Art Center at Depauw University through discussions among friends and again reminded about it from a few comments left on this site a week or two ago. I decided to check out their web site to see what this place was about and found information on this show. Sadly I found out about this show late in the game. Skirting the Line originally opened February 15th and is due to close May 7th. That is just a few days away. So, if you have a desire to see a wonderfully curated, conceptual, art show I would highly recommend the hour long drive to see this one.

Skirting the Line is a show concerned with a highly conceptual perspective on the act of drawing by many artists from around the world. I was impressed by many of the artists and groups this show had in it; Francis Alys, Tonico Lemos Auad, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Clare Churchouse, Marc Dombrosky, Mark Fox, Mark Lombardi, Anthony Luensman, Ryan McNamara, Marco Maggi, Vik Muniz, Danica Phelps, Type A, Georgina Valverde, Pablo Vargas Lugo, and Holly Zausner. The expanded look at what constitutes drawing made for a highly inventive and interesting show. One of the strongest shows I have seen this year, whether locally or elsewhere. Kaytie Johnson, the Director of the Peeler Art Center as well as the curator for this show, has done an outstanding job putting on this show. For those of you who prefer a more aesthetic looking show, there are some really nice pieces for you to see here but for the most part this show is about concept. An intelligently portrayed view of drawing we don't see too often in these parts. My favorite piece in the show would have to be the post cards of Francis Alys. Walking as drawing, pulling his "Ghetto Collectors" behind him, carrying a punctured can of paint around town leaving a trail of his travels... These post cards depict scenes from many of his performative works/walks he has done all over the world and shows a creative way in which Kaytie has decided to interpret the act of drawing. These are the things I love about the work of Alys and was a nice surprise to see her inclusion of him in this show.

For my lack of finding better ways to explain what this show is about, here is what the press release states:

The group of artists represented in Skirting the Line adopt these hybridic approaches to drawing - as both a verb and noun - utilizing drawing as a fundamental and continuous part of the creative process, and also as their primary conceptual medium. However, they do not favor thought over the manipulation of materials, and don't perceive drawings to be limited only to the arrangement of lines on a page. Instead, they view line as the basis for the investigation of formal and conceptual issues, and use non-traditional media and processes in order to systematically test the conditions, appearance and definitions of drawing. By transposing the qualities and processes of drawing onto a variety of contemporary media - including installation, film, sound, sculpture, photography, video, and performance - they create composite works that subvert conventional definitions of drawing by conflating this traditional medium and process with conceptually-driven contemporary art practice.

Though I love work that is well grounded in concept, I would not say that I am one who tends to favor highly conceptual art above other forms of art, but if you have the chance in the next couple days to check out this show, I would highly reccommend you do so. This show marks for me the best show i've seen in and around Indy so far this year. Great concept for a show, well displayed, interesting art and artists, and this show was able to surprise me; something I enjoy from an exhibition of art work. I for one plan on keeping up with what is going on at the Peeler now. I wonder what she will curate next?

1 Responses to “Review: Skirting the Line”

Christopher said...
May 4, 2006 at 11:35 AM

Sorry I couldn't head over there with you. I'll keep an eye on future shows as well.

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