The Lab. The eight works and associated ephemera included in this exhibition were produced between 1953 and 1955, the most intensive period of the artist's process-based experimentation.
New York – The Drawing Center presents Sari Dienes, the first museum show ever devoted to the
In the early 1950s, Sari Dienes used experimental processes to create bold works on paper, impressing into her pictorial support the gritty and vibrant terrain of New York City’s streets. Her transfer drawings of subway grates, sidewalks, and manhole covers produced images that were at once abstract patterns and highly recognizable subjects. Armed with an ink roller, she mapped her urban haunts as well as her body’s movement; uneven and ghostly skeins of pigment document her repetitive application of a standard-size brayer across the surface.
Dienes placed drawing at the center of her practice while simultaneously challenging traditionally held views about the medium. The eight works and associated ephemera included in this exhibition were produced between 1953 and 1955, the most intensive period of the artist’s process-based experimentation. These drawings had a profound formal, technical, and iconographic impact on a young generation of artists, including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. While widely exhibited and well–received at the time of its creation, her work has been largely overlooked in recent decades. This exhibition highlights her practice and sheds new light on her legacy. Curated by Alexis Lowry Murray and Delia Solomons.
ABOUT SARI DIENES
Sari Dienes (b. 1898, Debreczen, Hungary; d. 1992, Stony Point, New York), neé Sarolta Maria Anna Chylinska, studied art in Paris and London with Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, André Lhote, and Henry Moore. In 1939, Dienes traveled to New York; although she intended to stay a few weeks, the outbreak of World War II prevented her return to Europe. She made New York her permanent home and became an active contributor to its many avant-garde circles. She created figurative surrealist drawings in the early 1940s, before her introduction to Zen Buddhism and the expanses of the American West prompted a shift in her approach to art. Over the following decades, she tirelessly experimented with varied styles and practices from abstract expressionism and assemblage to Xerox, mail, and performance art. In addition to her work as a visual artist, Dienes was a successful textile designer.
Throughout her career Dienes exhibited widely, including four solo shows in the 1950s at the Betty Parsons Gallery, the preeminent space for abstract expressionism in New York City. She also participated in major group exhibitions such as the Museum of Modern Art's Art of Assemblage in 1961, and was the recipient of numerous residencies and fellowships throughout her life, for example from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1980.
Thursday, November 13 at 6:30pm
Curator-led exhibition tour with Alexis Lowry Murray and Delia Solomons, followed by Conversation moderated by Julia Robinson, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, NYU
Sari Dienes is made possible by the support of Fiona and Eric Rudin and Pavel Zoubok Gallery.
Special thanks to Barbara Pollitt and Rip Hayman of the Sari Dienes Foundation.
ABOUT THE DRAWING CENTER
The Drawing Center is the only not-for-profit fine arts institution in the country to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and contemporary. It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists; to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history; and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture.
Image: Sari Dienes, Tred Squares, c. 1953–55, Ink on webril, 36 x 36 inches. Courtesy of The Sari Dienes Foundation, Pomona, NY. © Sari Dienes Foundation/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
For further information and images, please contact
Molly Gross, Communications Director, The Drawing Center
212 219 2166 x119 | email@example.com
The Drawing Center
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