January 30, 2018 - Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) - The Projective Drawing
January 30, 2018

Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY)

Design by Tae Won Yu with art by Judith Saupper.

The Projective Drawing
February 6–May 13, 2018

Opening: January 5, 6–8pm, including artist talk
Performance: February 19, 6:30pm, Music from Billy Martin and Susanna Gartmayer (percussions/bass clarinet)

Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY)
11 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022

T +1 212 319 5300

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William Cordova, Lionel Favre, Sara Flores and the Shipibo Conibo Center, Simona Koch, Brigitte Mahlknecht, Judith Saupper, Seher Shah, James Siena, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, and Leopold Strobl

Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) is pleased to announce the upcoming group exhibition The Projective Drawing, curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York.

The exhibition is based on The Projective Cast, a book published in 1995 by architectural historian Robin Evans that defines a new way to explain how we “see” architecture by incorporating all sensations that underpin the human experience of built structures (mental, physical, and emotional). In The Projective Drawing, curator Brett Littman applies Evans’s theory, which is skeptical of drawing at its core, to challenge our understanding of how the medium of drawing operates in contemporary culture by highlighting both Austrian and international artists whose drawings require viewers to activate a matrix of complex and nontraditional ideas in order to interpret the works on view. Within the striking architecture of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, designed by Raimund Abraham in 1992, the exhibition will unfold in a “projective” architectural space which reveals its non-linear structure and emotional impact as one perambulates through the building.  

Judith Saupper and Lionel Favre, for example, have created site-specific installations that redefine the art of drawing, requiring the viewer to walk around, into, and even crawl under the works to fully experience them. James Siena, Brigitte Mahlknecht, and Seher Shah, likewise, transcend classic geometry to build contemporary visual spaces that can only exist suspended in our imagination. Leopold Strobl, who works with Galerie Gugging in Austria, creates miniature landscapes on old newspapers. Strobl’s signature dark voids, which partially occlude the drawn landscape, prompt viewers to contemplate the essentially incomplete and partial nature of drawing. Katrín Sigurdardóttir’s drawings for sculptural projects follow the artist’s practice from conception to execution. Each work articulates drawing’s inherent potential to impact the built world.

The Projective Drawing also foregrounds artists who use drawing to visualize organic systems and abstract structures. Drawings created using plant extracts by the Shipibo artist Sara Flores are deeply tied to her relationship to the vegetal world and the healing ayahuasca ceremonies performed by shamans in the Peruvian Amazon. In a similar manner, collages and drawings by William Cordova amalgamate images to represent the body’s relationship to vernacular architecture, sound, pop culture, and politics. Lastly, Simona Koch’s large-scale genealogical maps highlight how drawing can visualize research, history, and networks.


Opening: Monday, February 5, 2018, 6-8pm
6-7pm: artist talk
Featuring Brett Littman (The Drawing Center, New York), Elsy Lahner (Albertina, Vienna), and exhibiting artists Judith Saupper, Brigitte Mahlknecht, and Lionel Favre
7-8pm: reception

Performance: Monday, February 19, 2018, 6:30pm
​US-drummer and percussionist Billy Martin and Austrian bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer in a special musical performance inspired by Sara Flores’s work in the exhibition.


About the curator
Since 2007, Brett Littman has been the Executive Director of The Drawing Center, based in SoHo, New York. His interests are multi-disciplinary and he has overseen more than 75 exhibitions over the last decade dealing with visual art, craft, design, architecture, music, science, and literature. Littman is also an art critic and lecturer, an active essayist for museum and gallery catalogs, and has written articles for a wide range of United States-based and international art, fashion, and design magazines.

Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY)
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