“Writing & Drawing Are Sister Arts,” announces banners flowing from an old-timey quill pen on a drawing in Nayland Blake’s solo exhibition #IDrawEveryDay at Matthew Marks Gallery. Even though this proper, decadent illustration, culled from a book of 19th century penmanship exercises, seems at odds with the bulls, bears and bunnies in the surrounding drawings, the work, titled 6.1.15, acts as the show’s manifesto. As with the sister arts of writing and drawing, Blake reveals how daily drawing practice can record a visual memoir.
How do you measure a life? Through jars full of trash gathered during trips to Bourbon Street, Rodeo Drive and the King’s mecca, Graceland? Through a smattering of graveyard dirt collected from the graves of loved ones? Through precisely written tags on toothbrushes and assorted tchotchkes, saved for decades? Through a 585-page inventory? Well, according …
Mirroring Hartman’s invocation of the ghosts of slavery to transform the present, Cy Gavin’s current exhibition At Heaven’s Command at Sargent’s Daughters enacts a similar personal and political pilgrimage. Rather than Ghana, Gavin’s vibrantly beautiful yet historically rich exhibition renders the results of tracing his own personal lineage to Bermuda.
Like Douglas Crimp’s seminal essay, Sean Strub’s Body Counts reflects both mourning and militancy, as well as everything in between, allowing the emotions connected to both queer sexuality and the AIDS crisis to be archived from shame to pride to love to guilt and immense grief.