Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the SixtiesExhibition

Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties

Dominique Lévy is pleased to present Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties. The exhibition investigates revolutionary developments in the practice of drawing that emerged in the United States during a decade of radical social and political upheaval.

Drawing Then is inspired by—and coincides with the 40th anniversary of—the 1976 exhibition Drawing Now, organized by Bernice Rose at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In her seminal catalogue essay, Rose wrote that “a number of artists have, and with increasing intensity since the middle sixties, seriously investigated the nature of drawing, investing major energies in a fundamental reevaluation of the medium, its disciplines, and its uses.” Forty years after Drawing Now, Drawing Then fills Dominique Lévy Gallery with more than 70 works by 39 artists, almost half of whom were not represented in the 1976 exhibition.

Drawing Then features loans from The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among other institutions, and includes works from the private collections of artists Mel Bochner, Vija Celmins, Jasper Johns, Adrian Piper, and Dorothea Rockburne. Drawing Then also presents two wall drawings installed on the occasion of the exhibition: the first, Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #20, comprised of systematically drawn colored pencil lines, has been realized for the first time since its debut at Dwan Gallery in 1969. LeWitt’s wall drawings demonstrate, in the words of Lawrence Alloway, “the possibility of drawing as pure ratiocination.” On the gallery’s second floor, Mel Bochner has installed his far less structured Superimposed Grids, originally conceived in 1968.

Drawing Then is curated by Kate Ganz. Ganz is the author of eleven scholarly catalogues on drawings, and co-author of the exhibition catalogue for The Drawings of Annibale Carracci, an exhibition she co-organized as a guest curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 1999. She is currently the Senior Editor of The Catalogue Raisonné of the Drawings of Jasper Johns, a multi-volume project to be published by the Menil Drawings Institute and Study Center in Houston, Texas.

In conjunction with Drawing Then, Dominique Lévy will publish a catalogue featuring essays by scholars Roni Feinstein, Suzanne Hudson, Anna Lovatt, Griselda Pollock, Richard Shiff, and Robert Storr. Each essay will address the ways in which a different movement or artist participated in changing the definition of drawing. The catalogue will include a newly commissioned work by contemporary poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge titled "Star Being." The book will also feature rare archival material; artists’ biographies; and a comprehensive chronology linking developments in the art world with the larger social and political events of the decade, including the Civil Rights Movement, Feminist Movement, Vietnam War, and widespread student protests.

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Selected Works

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  • Lee Bontecou
    Untitled, 1964
    Graphite and soot on paper
    22 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches (57.2 x 72.4 cm)
    © 2015 Lee Bontecou

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  • Eva Hesse
    No Title, c. 1965–1966
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
    © The Estate of Eva Hesse
    Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

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  • Cy Twombly
    Untitled, 1960
    Pencil, oil-based house paint, wax crayon, and ballpoint pen on paper
    19 5/8 x 27 1/2 inches (50 x 70 cm)
    © 2015 Cy Twombly Foundation

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  • Mel Bochner
    Superimposed Grids (Blue), 1968
    Blue powder pigment on wall
    Dimensions variable
    © 2016 Mel Bochner

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  • Lee Lozano
    Untitled, c. 1964
    Graphite on paper
    Four drawings framed as one work: 1 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches (4.8 x 21.6 cm);
    1 7/8 x 3 7/8 inches (4.8 x 9.8 cm); 1 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches (4.8 x 5.7 cm);
    3 1/4 x 4 1/8 inches (8.3 x 10.5 cm)
    © The Estate of Lee Lozano
    Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

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  • Agnes Martin
    Stars, 1963
    Ink and watercolor on paper
    12 x 12 inches (30.5 x 30.5 cm)
    © 2015 Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Adrian Piper
    The Barbie Doll Drawings, 1967
    India ink, radiography, and/or pencil on paper
    Suite of 35 drawings; each sheet measures 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (21.5 x 14 cm)
    © 2016 Adrian Piper

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  • David Smith
    Untitled, 1960
    Spray enamel and oil on paper
    17 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches (45.1 x 29.2 cm)
    © The Estate of David Smith/VAGA, New York

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  • Richard Tuttle
    Untitled, 1966
    Gouache and pencil on paper
    13 1/2 x 10 5/8 inches (34.3 x 27 cm)
    © Richard Tuttle, Courtesy Pace Gallery

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  • Wayne Thiebaud
    Ice Cream Cone, 1964
    Ink and graphite on paper
    12 1/2 x 14 inches (31.8 x 35.6 cm)
    Art © Wayne Thiebaud/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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  • Andy Warhol
    Dance Steps, 1962
    Pencil on paper
    40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
    © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Selected Press

Blouin Artinfo | Review: “Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties” at Dominique Lévy

March 1, 2016

In Bernice Rose’s 1976 catalogue essay for “Drawing Now” at the Museum of Modern Art, she enumerates …

Bloomberg | Are Drawings the Best Deal in 20th Century Art?

February 8, 2016

A sweeping show of drawings from the 1960s opened at Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York on January …

Timeout | “Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties”

February 5, 2016

The New York art scene of the 1960s birthed such revolutionary innovations as video, installation …

The New Yorker | “Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties”

February 2, 2016

“Drawing Now” is a legendary survey, curated by Bernice Rose, at the Museum of Modern Art, exactly …

THE ART NEWSPAPER | Drawing, then and now

January 28, 2016

Forty years ago, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York opened Drawing Now: 1955-75 (23 January-19 …

T The New York Times Style Magazine | Returning, Again, to American Drawing in the 1960s

January 27, 2016

An installation view of “Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of …

Financial Times | Drawing Then at Dominique Lévy, New York

January 13, 2016

Forty years after The Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking show “Drawing Now” – which spotlit …

WNYC | Drawing’s Golden Age in New York

January 2, 2016

The art of drawing has always been overshadowed by flashier mediums, but this happens to be a moment …

Video

Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties

March 22, 2017

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