Lines of inquiry

‘On Drawing’ at the New Art Center, Gateway Arts at Simmons, Jeff Koons at Harvard, and Jenny Saville at BU
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  March 25, 2008
Angela Mark, The Workers March (1991)

The idea of drawing has taken on great romance and importance since about the 1970s, when this originally humble cousin to Painting and Sculpture started to find its own footing in the world of contemporary art. Institutions such as the Drawing Center in New York (established in 1977), and exhibitions such as “Drawing Now: Eight Propositions” at the Museum of Modern Art in 2002 underscored the diversity and vitality of the shape-shifting genre, which long ago stepped out of the arena of the preliminary sketch and into the limelight. Opening at the New Art Center on April 7, “ON DRAWING: SURFACE, LINE, MARK” explores the subject through the work of eight New England artists working in a variety of media. Basil El Halwagy makes large-scale, narrative drawings with white pastel on black paper; Angela Mark does politically overt pen-and-ink work; Aparna Agrawal layers using collage and text. The exhibition will also offer an interactive “Drawing Space” created by artist and exhibition co-curator Deborah Putnoi where gallery visitors can try their own hands at techniques including blind contour drawing and working in sketchbooks.

“On Drawing: Surface, Line, Mark” at New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville | April 7–May 18 | 617.964.3424

“Inside the Outsider World” at Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, 300 the Fenway, Boston | Through April 25 | Reception with Rae Edelson and Stephen De Fronzo March 31: 4:30–6 pm | 617.521.2268

Jeff Koons lecture at Harvard’s Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge | April 3: 6 pm | 617.495.3251

Jenny Saville lecture at BU’s Morse Auditorium, 602 Comm Ave, Boston | April 8: 6 pm | 617.353.3371
Gateway Arts in Brookline Village has been a hub of creative activity for more than 30 years, a place where talented artists with disabilities make, exhibit, and sell art in the non-profit’s gallery and in its crafts store. Barbara O’Brien, director of the Trustman Art Gallery at Simmons College, describes Gateway as “one of the premier studios for outsider artists in the country.” Organized by students in Simmons’s Arts in the Community seminar and on view at the Trustman through April 25, “INSIDE THE OUTSIDER WORLD: GATEWAY ARTS AT SIMMONS COLLEGE” presents a selection of paintings and mixed-media works on paper by 12 Gateway artists. Gateway director Rae Edelson and artistic director Stephen De Fronzo will be on hand for a public reception on March 31.

Boston is so rich in talks by visiting artists, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the talented folks coming through to share their slides and their insights. Two high-profile visitors are on the immediate horizon. On April 3, JEFF KOONS, creator of the 43-foot flower Puppy at Rockefeller Center and the fine porcelain-and-gold sculpture Michael Jackson and Bubbles, speaks at Harvard’s Carpenter Center. And on April 8, JENNY SAVILLE, esteemed painter of voluptuous (to put it nicely), fleshy figures, speaks at BU’s Morse Auditorium. Both events are free, but seating is limited, and reservations are required (see number below) for the Saville lecture.

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