“Drawn From Photography” opens June 21

May 25, 2012

The exhibition Drawn from Photography, which opens at the DePaul Art Museum June 21, showcases 13 artists who use drawing to meticulously translate images originally received through photo-based media or digital circulation. Free and open to the public, the exhibition runs through Aug. 19.

Drawn from Photography is organized by The Drawing Center, New York, and curated by center curator Claire Gilman. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 21 at the museum, located at 935 W. Fullerton Ave., just east of the CTA’s Fullerton “L” stop.

Drawings feature scenes of social transformation from the last two centuries, including scenes of war and protest as well as views of urban landscapes and industrial developments. Whether using found media sources or their own photographs, the artists share a reconstructive, labor-intensive impulse that counteracts the rapid dissemination of information that defines the media age.

More than any other art form, drawing is traditionally understood to be an inherently intimate and direct means of expression. Although re-creating images first made by a camera’s impersonal lens may appear to counter the drawn gesture’s authorial imprint, the work in Drawn from Photography can be seen as embodying its own kind of agency. In this presentation, personal attention and slowing down oppose the experience of alienation in a world increasingly mediated by technological representation. Drawing as translation — both utterly individual and fundamentally egoless — privileges time spent, care and attention as forms of commitment in their own right.

The artists in the exhibition adopt a variety of approaches to their subjects. Emily Prince and Mary Temple create evolving installations that respond to contemporary events such as the war in Iraq; Andrea Bowers, Sam Durant, D-L Alvarez and Frank Selby replicate iconic photos of political clashes and countercultural movements; Fernando Bryce comprehensively redraws historical documents; and Ewan Gibbs and Richard Forster copy their own snapshots of the changing industrial landscape. In each case, drawing as translation marks a desire for agency coupled with a sense of distance between “reality out there” and the artist’s attempt to comprehend or impact it.

“In focusing on the act of drawing as well as on the content and meanings of their images, the artists in the exhibition engage and connect political events and meditative practice,” said Louise Lincoln, director of the DePaul Art Museum. “The works become a way for artists — and viewers — to understand our place in the world.”

The DePaul Art Museum opened in its new $7.8 million three-story home in September 2011. The museum’s hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu. For more information about The Drawing Center, visit www.drawingcenter.org.

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