Buhmann on Art, Week of Sept. 25, 2014

Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery Samuel Jablon. “The Poet Sculpture” (2013). Acrylic on wood.

Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery
Samuel Jablon. “The Poet Sculpture” (2013). Acrylic on wood.

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN  (stephaniebuhmann.com)  |  DRAWN TO LANGUAGE  On view in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery, this exhibition brings together both emerging and established mid-career artists, such as Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer and Jack Pierson, whose works employ language as a structural and at times philosophical source of inspiration. Here, letters, words or phrases are transcribed, visualized, verbalized, symbolized, morphed into patterns, scrambled, and erased to create compositional content.

While the works vary conceptually and aesthetically, ranging from humorous to political and lyrically abstract, for example, each makes use of words to create a unique image. Because of its eclectic and encompassing nature, the exhibition succeeds in paying homage to language in general and as a timeless source of inspiration, which goes as far back as far as ancient calligraphy or illuminated manuscripts. Most importantly, this installation exemplifies the manifold ways in which artists can be drawn to this particular subject.

Whether language is used for emphasis, to communicate specific meaning, draw out a narrative or simply to make a joke, it always proves to be a potent means of expression. By focusing on artists who pursue their subject by using unusual materials, processes and techniques, “Drawn to Language” aims to encourage its audience to examine language in new ways.

Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery Michael Scoggins. “Explosion Drawing #5” (2014). Marker, prism color on paper.

Courtesy of the artist & Freight + Volume Gallery
Michael Scoggins. “Explosion Drawing #5” (2014). Marker, prism color on paper.

Through Jan. 11, 2015. At the Children’s Museum of the Arts (103 Charlton St., btw. Greenwich & Hudson Sts.). Hours: Mon./Wed., 12–5 p.m., Thurs./Fri., 12–6 p.m., Sat./Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Call 212-274-0986 or visit  cmany.org.

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