On May 8, 2012, the Milavec Hakimi Gallery hosted the opening reception for The Drawing Room, a salon-style show curated by Dina Brodsky, Karl Koett and Tun Myaing featuring the personal manuscripts and collected drawings of a select group of 30 emerging artists.
In centuries past, the drawing room was a place to withdraw from the tumult of daily life with one’s closest associates. After a more crowded gathering, a host’s inner circle of confidantes would meet there to escape the small talk and formalities barring the real conversation. In this spirit, the drawing room creates a space for the viewer and artist both to exchange those stories and ideas ordinarily saved for more treasured company. The Drawing Room, invites you aside from the general conversation to a more intimate discussion.
Thus, The Drawing Room pulled gallery-goers into the artists’ inner circle. Eschewing the stark white background of the traditional gallery, the salon’s burgundy, gold-leafed walls make for a cozier, more intimate setting to converse and admire the drawings. This intimate atmosphere is essential, according to curator Dina Brodsky. “Drawings offer a window into the innermost workings of an individual creative process, a glimpse into an artist’s most confidential thoughts. The show is a chance to witness the raw, unedited undercurrents that lead from inspiration to a completed work of art,” she explained.
Indeed, the drawings range from the meticulously detailed water ripples of Grayson Ronk’s After It’s All Over to ghostly tableaus of James Adelman’s ethereal women. Some of the drawings capture moments of candid reality, such as the tired but determined elderly gentleman in Steve Foster’s Leaders of Men 2. Others dip further into the imagination, such as in Matthew Conner’s anthropomorphic Crocodile Halberdier and Melanie Vote’s eerie, desolate scene in Ruins in Refuge. Still, some of the most personal images are captured in a display of sketchbooks containing fragments of the artists’ private worlds, as seldom seen outside the studio. The books were among the most popular elements of the show, with visitors teeming and crowding at the table for a chance to flip through the pages.
One of The Drawing Room’s most striking components is its antique curiosities table. Nestled in the corner of the gallery, this installation piece showcases a collection of unusual objects and items that have inspired, intrigued or provoked the artists over the years. Several blank notebooks and drawing istruments are arranged in the center, enticing gallery-goers to try their own hand at drawing. The record of the artist’s journey inspires the viewer to go on one of their own, as they discover their personal muse amongst the curios displayed.
The Drawing Room calls on viewers to observe both the art and the process, to perceive creative progression from a new angle. It shines a light on the significance of drawing in the evolution of an artwork and invites audiences to find their own inspiration, tracing the steps of that process and supplying images for all to enjoy.
The Drawing Room is open through May 22nd at the Milavec Hakimi Gallery, 51 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003.
Article by: Lidia Arshavsky
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Jason Woodside, Judith Charles Gallery, July 2014