Current Exhibitions « The Jerusalem Artists House – בית האמנים בירושלים

Current Exhibitions

Micha Ullman, House on House, 2019, Red Hamra sand. Photo Elad Sarig מיכה אולמן, בית על בית, 2019, חול חמרה. צילום אעד שריג

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Gallery talk:
Saturday, 28 December 2019 12:00

Traces VII – Action Line

The 7th Biennale for Drawing in Israel

Traces VII – Action Line


23 November 2019 – 15 February 2020

Chief Curator: Hadas Maor

The history of drawing has been reviewed extensively and from diverse angles by the curators of the previous biennale editions, who unfolded a fascinating account of the development of drawing and explored the medium’s affinities to the surface perceived as most characteristic of it—paper.

Action Line, the 7th Biennale for Drawing, does not focus on any specific surface or any affinity, whether negative or positive, to such a potential surface. In fact, it centers on the space itself—the sphere where the act of drawing takes place, and the traces it leaves on it. In this respect, the majority of the works in this biennale are devoid of a surface and do not maintain a relation between surface and action.

In 1964, Donald Judd, who was an art critic before becoming a key figure in the history of postwar art, wrote an article titled “Specific Objects.” Published a year later in Contemporary Sculpture: Arts Yearbook 8, it addressed a new type of art, free of traditional conceptions which distinguish between painting and sculpture, focusing instead on an investigation of “real space.” For Judd, space itself was a material, just as essential as the industrial surfaces from which his works were constructed.

Following this line of thought, the 7th Biennale for Drawing delves into the relationship between drawing and space; the manner in which the act of drawing outlines volumes in the space, opens up gaps in it, leaves signs and scars on it, and poses questions pertaining to it. The exhibition includes mainly site-specific works, with special emphasis on their underlying performative dimension; works which are nourished by a profound understanding of the act of drawing, yet ultimately materialize in the space in a three-dimensional form.

In the absence of the aforementioned relation between surface and action, the works are characterized by an explicit material presence and a distinctive architectural dimension. Sand, cement, lead, brass, plaster, iron, wood, rubber, stone, glass, etc. are the materials from which the exhibition is made; materials which produce a three-dimensional drawing, one that converts the two dimensional line and stain with spatially present volume, matter and form.

Not accidentally, these are also the materials used for actual masonry: to cast foundations, reinforce walls, and install windows. Thus the exhibition implicitly introduces the notion of the house, yet deconstructs it to its components and neutralizes its innate containment potential. It presents what may, one day, assemble to form a house, but, for the time being, has fallen apart, collapsed, or been abandoned.