Sunday, November 1, 2009


4 West 5th Street, Wilmington, DE
November 5 - 30, 2009
Opening: Nov 6th, 6-9pm
Closing: Nov 19th, 6-9pm

“A line is a child’s first instrument of depiction, the boundary where one thing ends and another begins.” Language of Line compiles 8 artists using a primitive sense of line to build a larger more intricate composition. Line is explored in a drawing practice, transfer of information, tracing, painting, cutting, bending, forming, and repetition of linear qualities, exploring a range of mediums and practices.

Stephanie Beck utilizes cut paper referencing the grids and lines of city plans, while also carefully composing large scale drawings of aerial two dimensional line patterns of Philadelphia and neighboring regions. Beck’s beautifully layered intricate cut paper carefully pinned to the walls form depth and shadow. Andrew Wapinski presents the grid subtlety with his mixed media resin paintings. Wapinski contrasts the man made grids of metal leaf squares or spray paint against visceral organic lines and layers of pigments and acrylic. His gold leaf squares speak to Yves Klein, while his line of coal becomes a material “zip”, reminiscent of Barnett Newman.

Three artists work in process based drawing. Martin Brief meticulously traces the edges of the form from the text on each page of the dictionary with his ink on paper ongoing Dictionary Series. Although hand drawn, Brief’s work appears to be digitally produced due to its super clean minimal quality. Brian Patrick Franklin marries the concepts of sports and art with his Game Day Series. Franklin watches sporting events and traces the path of the ball to generate digital drawings, appearing like a computer generated Jackson Pollock drip painting. Zach Chupa also combines athletics with a drawing practice. Chupa produces simple line compositions on paper by mapping various running paths with a GPS device, in his Drun Compilation Series. The result is a small, minimal, refined process driven composition.

Beyond drawing a reference, artists work with line sculpturally. Anthony Cervino produces large-scale versions of plastic die cast scraps from toys and model kits. Blurring the line between mass-produced and hand made objects, Cervino’s Fleet mirrors the sensibility of the “ray gun” collection of Claes Oldenburg. Stephen Ruszkowski uses perspective lines of historic architecture and maps of the Delaware Valley region to create wall installations consisting of yarn and nails. The lines of yarn float off the wall expressing a paradox of permanence, disappearance and remembrance of structures and landscapes. Abby Donovan creates installations using low-tech materials such as wire, sculpey, tape, and clay to develop temporary site-specific material constructions questioning the urgency and absurdity of spaces and materiality. Her installations use altered symbols of language such as letters of the alphabet and arrows, creating organic forms of the once rigid lines transforming geometric spaces.

In a culture ‘devoted to the ordering of space’, the artists simply forgo the use of representation via abstraction, being more concerned with what things are more than what they look like to the eye’s camera.

—Ron Longsdorf, Curator
November 2009

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