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Indepth Arts News:

"By Hand: Pattern, Precision, and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing"
2001-08-28 until 2001-10-14
University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach
Long Beach, CA, USA United States of America

University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, presents By Hand: Pattern, Precision, and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing, an exhibition organized by UAM Curator of Exhibitions Mary-Kay Lombino.  By Hand showcases a diverse group of drawings by 26 artists, ranging in the stages of their careers from emerging to established, who hail from cities around the world, including Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Dublin, and London.

In contrast to a recent surge of art made with the aid of technology, the drawings included in By Hand were all created with simple, hand-held tools. This exhibition brings together work that resists the ever-present temptation to generate images with a computer, even when the artist must laboriously render such minutiae as the pattern of fabric, type-written passages, or pin-straight, parallel lines. Visually prominent in many of the works are the obsessive attention to detail and the painstaking processes required in their making, while other works are handmade attempts to recreate an image or a pattern that was originally machinemade, thus revealing or concealing the differences between the two.

Each of the artists represented here has brought a personal perspective and method to the medium of drawing, in most cases addressing process as much as  subject matter. The images all show some hint, however small, of a distinct mode of mark-making that, like an individual signature, reflects its makers personality. The work demonstrates that drawing can provide a direct translation of the movements of the human body and the idiosyncrasies of the gesture into image.

Full of marvelous discoveries about the various ways artists use drawing to achieve incredible feats of patience, skill,  purity, and intricacy, By Hand is an exploration of a small region of the vast territory covered by contemporary drawing. Much of the work featured in the exhibition shows evidence of a new kind of Minimalism.  In a recent article published in Artnews, entitled The Microwave, Barbara MacAdam notes a current trend in drawing and suggests that many artists today are producing labor-intensive works that are almost impossible to decipher.  She identifies a host of artists, many of whom are featured in By Hand, and who are committed to a strange yet venerable genre best called ‘micro art.’

ARTISTS    Eve Aschheim, Russell Crotty, Elena Del Rivero, Dana Duff, Jacob El Hanani, Ann Faison, Simon Frost, Francesca Gabianni, Tayo Heuser, Seth Kaufman, Joyce Lightbody, Marco Maggi, Gerhard Mayer, Stefana McClure, John Morris, Paul Noble, Timothy Nolan, Kathy Prendergast, Nancy Picot Riegelman, Adam Ross, Makoto Sasaki, Michelle Segre, James Siena, Frederic Tchorbadjian, Mercedes Teixido, and Mungo Thomson.

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