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Summer 2012
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DePaul Art Museum Exhibit “Draws” on Images of Social Transformation

Showcasing 13 artists who use drawing to meticulously translate images originally received through photo-based media or digital circulation, the exhibition “Drawn from Photography” includes images of war and protest as well as views of urban landscapes and industrial developments. Free and open to the public, the exhibit runs through August 19.

“In focusing on the act of drawing as well as on the content and meanings of their images, the artists in the exhibition engage and connect political events and meditative practice,” says Louise Lincoln, director of the DePaul Art Museum. “The works become a way for artists–and viewers–to understand our place in the world.”

More than any other art form, drawing is traditionally understood to be an inherently intimate and direct means of expression. The act of drawing is a way to deliberately slow things down. Whether using found media sources or their own photographs, the artists share a reconstructive, labor-intensive impulse that counteracts the rapid dissemination of information that defines the media age.

The artists in the exhibition adopt a variety of approaches to their subjects. Emily Prince and Mary Temple create evolving installations that respond to contemporary events, such as the war in Iraq; Andrea Bowers, Sam Durant, D-L Alvarez and Frank Selby replicate iconic photos of political clashes and countercultural movements; Fernando Bryce comprehensively redraws historical documents; and Ewan Gibbs and Richard Forster copy their own snapshots of the changing industrial landscape. In each case, drawing as translation marks a desire for agency coupled with a sense of distance between the world and the artist’s attempt to comprehend or impact it.

“Drawn from Photography” is organized by The Drawing Center in New York and curated by center curator Claire Gilman.

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Image credit: Frank Selby, Light Blue Riot, 2010