Balthus, Will Barnet, Lee Bontecou, Richard Diebenkorn, Jean Hélion, Frederick Kiesler, Paul Klee, Lee Krasner, František Kupka, Henri Matisse, Robert Mangold, Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Leon Polk Smith, Bob Thompson, and others. MAY 16 – JULY 1, 2016
Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence. Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954)
In the final analysis, a drawing simply is no longer a drawing, no matter how self-sufficient its execution may be. It is a symbol, and the more profoundly the imaginary lines of projection meet higher dimensions, the better. Paul Klee (1879 - 1940)
I approach painting in the same sense as one approaches drawing, that is, it's direct. Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
With the pencil and the act of drawing, I reconfirm the surface as a flat plane. Robert Mangold (B. 1937)
Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present MASTER DRAWINGS, an exhibition composed exclusively of works on paper from a selection of twentieth century masters. The drawings in this exhibition range in both scale and medium, spanning a large variety of artistic movements, styles and techniques. While František Kupka’s Woman Picking Flowers from 1909-10, a complex study for the artist’s famous painting of the same title, is the earliest example in the show, Richard Diebenkorn’s Untitled (Ocean Park), 1991, marks the latest.
Highlights include a large abstract watercolor by Lee Krasner on handmade Howell paper, a delicate pencil study by Paul Klee depicting a child in motion, as well as a multi-panel Galaxy installation by Frederick Kiesler. Additionally, two works from Jackson Pollock’s psychoanalytic series, Untitled (Number 65), 1939-40 and Untitled, 1939-40, composed of sixty-nine works in total, was completed while Pollock was undergoing psychoanalysis with Dr. Joseph Henderson. In an effort to open communication and perhaps recalling earlier psychotherapeutic experiments, Pollock began to make drawings to supplement words where words alone had been inadequate. The imagery in these works recall Surrealist iconography, a significant source of inspiration for Pollock, but also illuminate the artist’s unique and alchemical vocabulary, as well as his attraction to psychic automatism. Indeed, it is clear how this series affected the artist’s artistic development, specifically his drip paintings of the 1940s.
Meanwhile, two works on paper by Larry Rivers pay homage to the artist’s draftsmanship while also revealing his use of this craft to transcribe his daily life, and the important people who surrounded him. As John Russell aptly noted in The New York Times in 1979: “Rivers is a very good draftsman by any standard, but, more than that, he is a man who lives through drawing. He draws his friends, his lovers, the banknote in his pocket and the package of cigarettes that he has just picked up at the tobacconist’s, and he makes of these drawings a light-handed autobiography that is a joy to read.” In contrast, Lee Bontecou’s two drawings in this show seem to render imaginary landscapes that are steeped in an almost otherworldly beauty. While intimate in scale, both works illustrate an acute sensibility for form and volume, evocative of the artist’s ability to exude a powerful energy with refined means.