Drawings: Selections from the Permanent Collections
February 29, 2008 – May 17, 2008
Ruth Ann Wefald Gallery
A selection of approximately twenty drawings from the permanent collection will be on view in the Ruth Ann Wefald Gallery from March 1 to May 18, 2008. The works on display will represent a range of periods, media, and styles, exploring the various ways in which artists use drawing in their creative practice. Examples of quickly rendered studies for other works, highly finished preparatory drawings, and drawings created as ends unto themselves will be included. The relationship of drawing to other modes of visual expression and the use of unusual materials and methods will also be considered. An example of the latter is Phyllis McGibbon’s Fold, a recent acquisition composed of calfskin strips glued to a fabric support. For the past several years McGibbon, a professor of studio art at Wellesley College, has been creating works that incorporate visual quotations from historical prints. Fold is based on a woodcut by the sixteenth-century German artist Albrecht Dürer that appeared in his Underweysung der messung (A Course in Measurement) of 1525, a treatise on geometry and perspective. The lines in McGibbon’s piece are defined by scraps of calfskin strips she recycled from a hat band manufacturer located in the same building as her studio. When displayed, Fold is gathered and pinned to the wall. This enables the drawing to hang in loose folds, which, as the artist has noted, allows the image “to collapse from the weight of its own illusion.”
This forthcoming installation of drawings will be the second selection of works on paper from the permanent collection to be featured in the Wefald Gallery since the museum’s reopening this past October. The addition of the Hyle and Pelton Galleries in the Jarvis wing permits the museum to use the Wefald Gallery exclusively for the exhibition of works on paper. Because these objects are more prone to damage from exposure to light than work in other media, they must be exhibited under carefully controlled light levels for relatively limited periods of time. For this reason, work displayed in the Wefald Gallery will be rotated three times annually to coincide with the spring, fall, and summer semesters.