Clint Fulkerson, Portal 20, graphite ink and gouache on paper, 30×22
Following exhibitions in Paris and Sydney, the international Drawing Collective’s first U.S. exhibition “Drawing Now” will be on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the Maine College of Art (MECA), 522 Congress Street, Portland Maine, from January 17th – March 22nd. A public Opening Celebration will be held on Friday, February 1, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
The Drawing Collective is comprised of 30 artists from eleven countries who all share the practice of abstract drawing. Its founder, Munira Naqui, a Portland-based artist, and Bruce Brown, Curator Emeritus Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) are co-curators of “Drawing Now.” Erin Hutton, Director of Exhibitions at ICA at MECA, is the organizer of the exhibition.
Danielle Lescot, Mires Series, pencil on paper, 42×30 cm
The Drawing Collective’s work expands upon a rich intellectual and aesthetic history of abstract drawing. Said Brown, “Descendants of Bauhaus, De Stijl, Réalities Nouvelles and Art Concret, their work represents a contemporary continuum of research in the formal purity of abstraction.”
“The core of the Collective’s work lies in the inter-connectivity of artists separated by geographical, linguistic and cultural barriers,” stated Naqui, who was born in Bangladesh, studied in Moscow and came to the US in 1982. A resident of Maine since 1993, she was inspired to launch the collective while discussing with artist friends in Paris several years ago the role of abstract drawing in contemporary practice and the possibility of using it as a common ground to connect with artists spread across the world.
“It is an honor for the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art to present The Drawing Collective’s first exhibition in the United States,” said Hutton. “Their devotion to the exploration of new strategies and methods is in alignment with our mission.”
A highlight of the exhibition will be a durational drawing rendered live by Kevin Townsend , artist in residence at ICA at MECA from January 30th – February 2nd. An internationally recognized artist and professor currently living and working in Kansas City as part of KCAI’s foundation department, Townsend’s expanded drawing practice centers around mark-making, obsession and the phenomenology of time. He previously taught at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Art at Tufts University.
Anne Brochot, Untitled, ink on Bristol paper, 42”x29.7”
On Thursday, February 21st, 7:30 p.m., Portland Ovations will present “Strumming Music,” a musical performance by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble at the ICA at MECA. Done in partnership with the exhibition, the performance will offer music responding to the artwork. For ticketing information, please visit this link.