The Square Root of Drawing Press Release 2006

Temple Bar Gallery and Studios

The Square Root of Drawing

25 October – 02 December 2006

The winter exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios gives focus to new directions in contemporary drawing. The Square Root of Drawing, opening on 25th October and featuring new work by over ninety Irish and International artists, provides an ambitious and timely survey of contemporary drawing and its infinite variations. Each of the participating artists have been invited to respond to a specific brief and produce a new drawing to measure 12” x 12” square with no limit to content or to materials used. The resulting exhibition exemplifies an extraordinary range of artists all currently engaged in making wry, playful, thought- provoking and inventive works on paper, other media and in animated format.

Traditionally, drawing was regarded as an integral part of training for any painter or sculptor. Its close association with preparation however, meant that for a long time drawing was regarded as secondary to the ‘established’ arts of painting and sculpture. Yet, in contemporary practice as throughout history, before an artist picks up a paintbrush, begins to model in clay, to plan an installation or a performance there’s always an idea, frequently articulated by initial marks and gestures. Often this is what makes drawing so compelling, its capacity to spontaneously express, to convey ideas distilled to their essence. Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum there is also drawing as something detailed, elaborate and expansive. The Square Root of Drawing encompasses both extremes and everything in between. What is clearly evident and what distinguishes contemporary practice from its historic roots is that there is now both an emergent and established generation of artists for whom drawing represents a core part of their practice and, for many, their primary activity.

The current resurgence of interest in drawing among artists, collectors and the public alike is significant. In the face of a hyper real society, its low-tech appeal resonates and the simplicity of drawing becomes something fresh and direct with an appeal that crosses the generational divide. The Square Root of Drawing demonstrates that an ancient art form is currently being revitalised and that artists now are redefining and pushing the boundaries of drawing in every conceivable direction so that practices today range from the epic to the minute, from black and white to full psychedelic colour, from marks on paper to complex animated forms and ‘inclinations’ towards the three dimensional.

The Square Root of Drawing at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios offers a critical survey of International contemporary drawing from three curatorial perspectives: firstly, observing drawing as a primary practice, secondly investigating its elemental place within artists’ wider practice and lastly exploring drawing as a method of achieving final works in other media such as painting or sculpture. The exhibition presents Irish audiences with the opportunity to discover what is current internationally, as well as the occasion to view and potentially purchase works by both Irish and International figures. The curator’s selection criteria placed considerable emphasis on those artists who in their use of the medium have a developed a distinct visual language. Notably, with participating artists from Cuba, Mainland Europe, Uruguay, United States and Japan, The Square Root of Drawing brings together artists who have not previously exhibited in Ireland.

Edwina Ashton, Joe Biel, Heather Boaz, Jesse Bransford, Jemima Brown, Bettina Carl, Mark Clare, Liadin Cooke, Gary Coyle, Russell Crotty, Shane Cullen, Colin Darke, Katja Davar, Kate Davis, Alexandra do Carmo, Katy Dove, Blaise Drummond, Brendan Earley, Clodagh Emoe, Amanda Faulkner, Brian Fay, Paul Flannery, Anna Friedel, Laura Gannon, Mark Garry, Joy Gerrard, Franiska + Tim Gilmans, Ilana Halperin, Mike Haskett, Bjorn Hegardt, Diango Hernandez, Susanna Heron, Katie Holten, Yuko Ichimura, Jaki Irvine, Wendy Judge, Atsushi Kaga, Susan Kemenyffy, Sol Kjøk, Tim Knowles, Ansel Krut, Katharine Lamb, Ricardo Lanzarini, Roisin Lewis, Cedar Lewisohn, Caroline MacCarthy, David Mackintosh, Bea MacMahon, Alice Maher, Niamh McCann, Andrew McDonald, Eoin McHugh, Paul McKinley, Michael McLoughlin, Zoe Mendelson, Florian Merkel, Nick Miller, Rosalind Nasashibi, Áine NicGiollaCoda, Isabel Nolan, Glexis Novoa, Beth O’Halloran, Eamon O’Kane, Vanessa O’Reilly, Sally Osborn, Michael Paré, Graham Parker, Alan Phelan, Garrett Phelan, Steven Pippin, Daphne Plessner, Adam Putnam, Linda Quinlan, Damien Roach, Risa Sato, David Sherry, Sigga Bjorg Sigurdardottir, Lucy Skaer, Terry Smith, Susan Tiger, Jane Topping, Rob Voerman, Ulrich Vogl, Martin Walde, Pat Walker, Joe Walker, Corban Walker, Grace Weir, Mikkel Wettre, Miranda Whall, Simon Wood.