Mind to Hand
by Rebecca Falzano
A statewide celebration of drawing begins at the Farnsworth
Throughout 2011, nearly two dozen art museums and galleries across the state will delve into their collections to curate exhibitions that celebrate the art of drawing. Where to Draw the Line: The Maine Drawing Project is a statewide collaboration, and one that was kicked off by the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Mind to Hand exhibition, which opened January 22.
According to the curator of the show, Jane Bianco, the name of the exhibition echoes the act of drawing itself, “a dynamic movement of the hand with tool directed by the perceptions and choices of the artist’s brain.” In this exhibition, drawings in a range of media and tools communicate ideas via minimal graphic marks, as preparatory studies for paintings (some of which can also be found in the Farnsworth’s collection), utilitarian diagrams for understanding more complex concepts, and as finished works. The drawings tend to possess a temporary quality, as records of the artist’s thought process along the way. As fixtures, the drawings themselves are temporary as well—the exhibition will run only for a short time to limit the works’ exposure to harmful light.
Mind to Hand encompasses an array of drawings from the Farnsworth’s permanent collection—works collected from 1944 through 2003 in ink, graphite, chalk, and mixed media. The earliest works are Jonathan Fisher’s A Plan for a Schoolhouse (ink and watercolor), drawn at Harvard, where Fisher was a math and divinity student before settling in Blue Hill, Maine; and a John Trumbull pencil portrait of his wife (c. 1803). More recent works are by Leonard Baskin, Neil Welliver, Isabel Bishop, Kate Nelligan, and William Zorach, among others. On the following pages are some of the show’s highlights.
MIND TO HAND RUNS UNTIL APRIL 3 AT THE FARNSWORTH ART MUSEUM IN ROCKLAND. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT FARNSWORTHMUSEUM.ORG OR THEMAINEDRAWINGPROJECT.ORG.