The exhibition features work in colored pencil by the following artists: Julie Allen, Steve DiBenedetto, Clint Fulkerson, Angela Heisch, Warren Isensee, Phil Knoll, David X. Levine, Cotter Luppi, David Morrison, Rob de Oude, Gary Petersen, Noah Post, Julia Randall, Jessica Rosner, Leslie Roberts, Katia Santibaňez, Audrey Stone, Lindsay Walt, Laura Watt, and Geoffrey Young.
In works both representational and abstract, the exhibition explores the remarkable range of mark-making that can be achieved with colored pencil, from razor fine to dense and waxy, and everything in between. Colored pencil provides a vast chromatic range and greatly varying levels of translucency, from almost imperceptible to opaque. As a tool it is portable, inexpensive, and ubiquitous.
Extraordinary exactitude is found in a highly detailed wasp’s nest by David Morrison, and in the empathetic, pellucid-eyed animal portraits by Philip Knoll, in which seemingly every strand of fur is depicted. Julia Randall’s remarkable translucent and fragile bubble of gum appears just beginning to deflate but is pinned at the wad like an animal trophy. Julie Allen creates spare but tenderly drawn domestic arrangements on vellum. Cotter Luppi exploits opaque and vibrant color in his ecstatic and psychedelic cathedral interior, while the sinuous lines of an octopus occupy a prismatic and radiating environment in Steve DiBenedetto’s colorful work. In David X. Levine’s impossible game board, colored pencil is applied with great density, resulting in a rich matte surface, while Angela Heisch’s delicate application of subtle and precise shading gives volume and depth to her playful, quasi-abstract imagery.
Colored pencil allows for varying opacities in Leslie Roberts’s diagrammatic transformations of phrases into abstract charts of letter repetitions. Lindsay Walt’s monochromatic drawings of schematized New York bridges pay homage to jazz musician Sonny Rollins’ daily practice at the Williamsburg Bridge. Ribbon-like swaths of colored pencil reveal embossed geodesic patterns in Clint Fulkerson’s work, while in Jessica Rosner’s chiral pinwheel composition, ruled drawing subtly contrasts with freehand duplication. Varying vertical bands of bright color frame and radiate around an undulant central form in Audrey Stone’s work, while in Noah Post’s abstractions, brightly-hued vibrant lines loop and travel across the page creating irregular shapes against a ground of soft translucent tonalities. Concentric spirals of varying ovoid forms pulse outward against a shimmering ground of soft greens in Katia Santibaňez’ drawing. Rob de Oude creates optically charged patterned fields by overlapping taut, finely-ruled lines in repeating color combinations. Warren Isensee draws radiant and symmetrical curvilinear abstractions which feel monumental despite their small scale, while Gary Petersen creates lively and rhythmic compositions with irregular geometries and linear elements in bold, rich hues. Laura Watt’s overlapping webs of colorful triangular shapes spiral and torque in densely patterned compositions. Geoffrey Young’s playful and colorfully patterned abstractions bring to mind Islamic tile work, textile design, and kaleidoscopic visions.