Last year I received a call from Eastern Michigan University Professor Michael Reedy who invited me to jury this year's edition of the Great Lakes Drawing Biennial.
Yesterday I went to Eastern Michigan's University Art Gallery and - together with Greg Tom, the Art Departments Gallery Director - took an extended look at the works that will make the Great Lakes Drawing Biennial. I had previously selected the works based on digital images, that were send to me in a very fine documentation provided by Greg and his staff.
It is going to be a show that will present drawings in a broad variety of formats, ideas and approaches. It's not a very coherent show (after all, its a biennial) with often large or very small works confined in a gallery that I previously thought was much larger...
Here is my Juror's Statement:
For this edition of the Great Lakes Drawing Biennial, I attempted to select the most extraordinary range of possibilities in contemporary drawing: a mark, a sketch, a thought, a conviction, a mystery, an object, a space, a recording, a doodle, a reflection, a note, an accumulation.
In that, I was guided by three thoughts:
· A drawing could also be described as a picture, a print, an object, or something entirely unexpected without being just that.
· To select a smaller number of participating artists in favor of a second or third work by each artist, if possible.
· An unexpected subject matter, a bold contrast, a conviction in drawing as a primary art form.
This exhibition makes a compelling case that the act of drawing is not only integral to our life, but that more and more artists find unique ways to redefine the discipline of drawing towards larger and more complex processes and forms of presentation.
I would like to express my gratitude to Eastern Michigan University’s Art Department, namely Professor Michael Reedy, for inviting me to get involved with this iteration of the Great Lakes Drawing Biennial; and to Gallery Programs Director Greg Tom, whose organizational expertise and advice made the jury process a truly enjoyable task.
Finally, many thanks to all the artists who shared with me their most interesting drawings that they feel an urgency to create, and that we can now enjoy in this exhibition.
The University Gallery is located in the EMU Student Center. For further information contact Greg Tom:
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (734) 487-0465
Hartmut Austen is a painter and educator living in the Boston area.