Drawing | The Bottom Line

Drawing | The Bottom Line


Michaël Borremans, The House of Opportunity (The Chance of a Lifetime), 2003. Collection of S.M.A.K. © Michaël Borremans.

October 3, 2015

Drawing | The Bottom Line
10 October 2015–31 January 2016

S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art
Jan Hoetplein 1
B-9000 Ghent

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S.M.A.K. is glad to present Drawing | The Bottom Line. Focusing on the individual practices of 53 international artists, the exhibition shows drawing as an all-encompassing refuge for heterogeneous approaches to art, as well as an infinitely complex medium. The works are related either by having developed essentially from drawing or by reflecting its precepts and history in a revealing way.

In The Bottom Line, drawing appears as a search for balance, as a black hole, a deletion, as a mark or scratch, as a correction, as chronometry. It can take the form of a performance or film, or simply that of a sketch, it can appear as passionate expression or with the cool aloofness of abstraction. Some works continue traditions, while others radically break away from them. Drawing proves itself to be a manner of thinking. It demands the right to an outside perspective. As a primary cultural act, drawing stands for freedom of expression as much as it does for reflection. Every line opens up the possibility of an image and therefore takes position, even if the distance to the world is as thin as a sheet of paper. In an economic context, the phrase “The Bottom Line” refers to “the final result”: drawing, which also includes graphic art, has often been called the mother of fine art. As an elegant and impenetrable medium, it is a constant that is uncoupled from contemporary trends, sometimes more, sometimes less. It is no coincidence that drawing rises to particular prominence in periods of crisis or change, when previously valid conventions are put aside, be it in the art of the 1960s or today.

With work by Carol Rama and William Anastasi, The Bottom Line reaches back to the 20th century of faded   “-isms.” It touches our fragmented present with site-specific presentations by, among others, Anna Barriball, Marc Bauer, Julian Göthe, Marc Nagtzaam and Erik Van Lieshout. Also, new series of works by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Michaël Borremans and Edith Dekyndt structure the exhibition, as do some artists’ rooms: Francis Alÿs questions the political and poetic potential of the line as a boundary; Andrea Galiazzo literally draws on our skin; Trisha Donnelly’s work sharpens our sensory perception; Mark Manders invites us into the intimacy of his Silent Studio. Elly Strik introduces a cosmic dimension, and Thierry De Cordier translates the impossibility of defining God into obsessive and almost infinite scripted panoramas. Finally, there is Mark Lombardi, who seems to have prophetically anticipated the intricate connectivity of our lives today.
The exhibition is curated by Philippe Van Cauteren and Martin Germann.

Artists exhibited: Adel Abdessemed, Tomma Abts, Francis Alÿs, William Anastasi, Anna Barriball, Marc Bauer, Thomas Bogaert, Monica Bonvicini, Michaël Borremans, Andrea Bowers, Manon de Boer, Thierry De Cordier, Edith Dekyndt, Johan De Wilde, Tacita Dean, Trisha Donnelly, Ellen Gallagher, Andrea Galiazzo, Nikolaus Gansterer, Julian Göthe, Roni Horn, Henri Jacobs, Mark Lombardi, Nick Mauss, Mark Manders, Paul McCarthy, Lucy McKenzie, Julie Mehretu, Matt Mullican, Marc Nagtzaam, Jockum Nordström, Henrik Olesen, Gabriel Orozco, Raymond Pettibon, Chloe Piene, Carol Rama, Robin Rhode, Salam Atta Sabri, Thomas Schütte, Mithu Sen, Jim Shaw, Paul Sietsema, Alexandre Singh, Bart Stolle, Elly Strik, Ante Timmermans, Rosemarie Trockel, Ignacio Uriarte, Erik Van Lieshout, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Jorinde Voigt, Kemang Wa Lehulere

The exhibition catalogue, published by Mercatorfonds Brussels, features two texts by the British author John Berger, as well as an introduction by Philippe Van Cauteren and Martin Germann. It also includes short pieces about all the artists, written by experts on contemporary art.

For further information, please contact Annelies Vantyghem: T +32 (0) 9 240 76 49 / annelies [​at​] smak.be 

S.M.A.K. Ghent presents Drawing | The Bottom Line
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October 3, 2015

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