September 22, 2004 - Norwich Gallery - Living Dust
September 22, 2004

Living Dust

Living Dust
30 September - 30 October 2004

opening 5.30 pm, 29 Sept 2004
lecture 3.30 pm, 29 September 2004
Duke Street Lecture Theatre, Norwich

Norwich School of Art and Design
St George Street, Norwich NR3 1BB
t + 1603 756248 (direct dial)
f + 1603 615728
info [​at​]

Clare Stephenson, La Technique, aerosol paint and pencil on paper, 2003   

Curated by David Musgrave

A exhibition of drawings and prints by Vija Celmins, Albrecht Durer, Max Ernst, Philip Guston, Dean Hughes, Sol Lewitt, David Musgrave, Paul Noble, Rupert Norfolk, Sigmar Polke, Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Ed Ruscha, John Ruskin, Colin Self, David Shrigley, Clare Stephenson, Yves Tanguy, and Chris Ware.

Living Dust‘, curated by David Musgrave, brings together contemporary and historical drawings and prints from collections in the UK and abroad. Including artists as diverse as Albrecht Drer and David Shrigley, Philip Guston, Clare Stephenson, Sol Lewitt and Chris Ware, the exhibition is united by a shared concern for the physical life of drawings.

The exhibition treats drawings in terms of their material characteristics, questioning the tendency to view a drawing either as a map of an objective situation or a document of a subjective one. The selection is based not on any shared similarity of style, subject matter or intention, but on the characteristics that each exhibits as a special kind of object.

Edward Rusha and Vija Celmins are both represented by drawings with the property of being at once illusionistic images and semi-opaque expanses of dust; how Ruscha’s paper ribbon words adrift in space and Celmins’ deadpan desertscape refer to the inner lives of the artist or the outer world of things is problematic rather than explicit. Clare Stephenson, Chris Ware and David Shrigley all play with conventions that exist within drawing, defeating expectations in order to open up unexpected spaces, and similarly it is fiction rather than truth that is key in both Drer’s St. Jerome in His Study, with its warped perspective and oddly smug lion, and Paul Noble’s assortment of animals, who have the run of his imaginary, awkwardly rendered Nobpark.

All the works have a kind of paradoxical life, being essentially dead arrangements of matter that nevertheless assume a kind of artificial animation. Rather than creating windows onto a world beyond, these images tend to creep across their surfaces, transformed by their dialogue with the mind of the viewer, thriving on their contradictions.
Living Dust, a hard-back colour catalogue, will accompany the exhibition. Available from Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art and Design, St George Street, Norwich NR3 1BB.
For further information, images and to arrange interviews please contact Lynda Morris or Andrew Hunt at Norwich Gallery NSAD telephone +44 (0)1603 756248 (direct dial) or email

Norwich Gallery
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