Projected Lines

An exhibit explores the limits of drawing at the Austrian Cultural Forum

Architecture Art Design East On View
An exhibit explores the limits of drawing at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Seher Shah, Flatlands 2016, ink on paper, 62 in x 129. (ACFNY/Luca Mercedes)

On February 5, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York opened the exhibition “The Projective Drawing,” an exhibition inspired by architectural historian Robin Evans’ posthumous book, The Projective Cast. Evans sought to explore a new approach to our understanding of architecture, one based on the incorporation of the senses: the physical, mental and emotional.

Brett Littman, the Executive Director of the Drawing Center and curator of the exhibition, described this strain of thought as “looking beyond pencil and paper to express objects” to “explore the limits of drawing.” Under this rubric, many of the drawings possess a non-linear and non-traditional character that requires thoughtful interpretation from the audience.

William Cordova, transmissions: a more radical elsewhere, 2005-12, mixed media collage on paper, dimensions variable, set of 10. (ACFNY/Luca Mercedes)

Located in the Austrian Cultural Forum’s landmark building in Midtown Manhattan, “The Projective Drawing” is displayed in the multi-level gallery space found at the base of the building. The exhibition includes Austria-based and international artists, allowing for a broad range of ideas and representations influenced by their regional contexts.

Judith Saupper, The Great Noise (Das Grosse Rauschen), 2014, paper sculpture, 118 1/8 x 307 x 267 3/4 inches. (ACFNY/Luca Mercedes)

Brigitte Mahlknecht, Fast Architektur 1-5, 2017, wax crayon on primed paper, 22 x 19 1⁄2 inches. (ACFNY/Luca Mercedes)

The panel hosted on the opening night of the exhibition featured Elsy Lahner, a curator of contemporary art for the Albertina Museum Vienna, Brett Littman, and exhibiting artists Lionel Favre, Brigitte Mahlknecht and Judith Saupper. Over the course of an hour, Lahner probed the curator and artists on the inspirations behind their work. For instance, Saupper spoke of her fascination with the informal geometry and architecture often found in vernacular Alpine forms, while Favre discussed his search for the hidden traditions that shape our conception of the built environment.

Exhibition Opening Panel. From left to right: artist Brigitte Mahlknecht, curator Brett Littman (Executive Director of The Drawing Center New York), Elsy Lahner (curator for 21st century art at the Albertina in Vienna), artist Judith Saupper, and artist Lionel Favre. (ACFNY/Luca Mercedes)

As part of the exhibition, on February 19, the Austrian Cultural Forum will host a live performance of American percussionist Billy Martin and Austrian clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer that interprets the exhibited work of Sara Flores.

“The Projective Drawing”
The Austrian Cultural Forum New York , 11 E 52nd Street 
Through May 13

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