Hanging Drawing II (20 successive drawings, unique and unrehearsed), 2018

Drawing as object and action.

Provisional. Constructed. Sculptural. Participatory. Performative.

A line hangs on the wall, draped across a series of small hooks, its weight creating catenary arcs toward the floor. It is dimensional. There is an urge to touch the sensuous, uneven, handmade line which is comprised of three successively larger loops. The mind firstly wants to know ‘What is it made of?’ and then quickly the body wants to touch and play with it. The artist has anticipated these responses by sharing the medium list of lead, rubber, and paint, and offers an invitation to engage with the work by following a set of simple instructions which are also outlined in shorthand in the title of the work, Hanging Drawing II (20 successive drawings unique and unrehearsed).

Hanging Drawings create a situation where drawings arrive momentarily through the slightest effort made by people other than the artist. The artist has invented the drawing tool and laid out the instructions for its use but it is the performer who ultimately makes the drawings. This work questions the relationships between artist and beholder/performer as well as the site of the gallery as a place solely for completed works. With Hanging Drawings, the beholder becomes the creator and the gallery becomes the studio. Although the actual system — line, hooks and instructions — can be acquired, the drawings created using the system are ever-changing and ephemeral. 

Nancy Murphy Spicer, 2018