ABSTRACT DRAWINGS TO MUSIC OPEN AT BSP LOUNGE IN KINGSTON
Meredith Rosier’s popular classes at the Woodstock School of Art, “Drawing and Abstraction: Interpretation and Form” have increased from the original 8 to 34. An exhibition of abstract drawings from these artists, affectionately dubbed “The Drawing Galaxy”, and curated by Rosier, will open Saturday, July 6, 4-9 pm at the BSP Lounge at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston. The exhibition runs through July 30.
In addition to her own innovative teaching methods, Rosier incorporates music into her classes, mixing the day’s music according to the mood she strives to set for that particular class. Her DJ skills include mixing classical, jazz, latin, hip hop, blues, and many different ethnic tunes and rhythms. And the drawings show it!
The artists here are encouraged to experiment with unexpected materials and tools, often beginning a drawing with eyes shut, then maturing the drawing keeping the formal elements of abstraction in mind. Often a drawing is begun with the word-to-image goal to tell the story of a word via composition and color, such as “tickle” or “surveillance”, getting to the heart of abstraction.
When asked to describe their feelings about the class, members mention Rosier’s contagious devotion to drawing, her generosity with techniques, helpful suggestions, vast art historical knowledge, critiquing skills, and genuine caring for her students and their success.
Harriet Livathinos adds, “From the very beginning this class has been and remains my challenge, my inspiration, and my joy! Meredith’s introduction of new materials into drawing, including dirt, sandpaper, mylar, and awl, along with her innovative methods, open the door to exciting exploration.”
Renee Englander: “Last year I smashed my dreaded Artists’ Block into a million pieces by joining the Drawing Galaxy. Meredith Rosier introduced me to the exciting world of pastel drawing and a mind stretching system of artful thinking.”
Ted Welch: “When you step into the studio at Woodstock School of Art for a class with Meredith Rosier on abstract drawing, be prepared for a galactic journey. Your spaceship is a pencil and paper. With your eyes closed you are asked to explore the universe one line at a time, creating large shapes, employing small marks, smudges, erasers, rubbing cloths, tips of fingers. But most of all you are asked to explore the universe within yourself that presents itself when your eyes are closed to the external world around you.”
Petra Nimtz: “Working with pastels gives me the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the variety of papers with different bites/textures onto which I apply the pastels.”
Helen Kauffman: “A galaxy consists of unimaginable number of unique solar elements; stars, moons, planets, asteroids, etc. In the Drawing Galaxy, Meredith Rosier creates a safe, exciting space which has helped me find, define and expand my own unique place in the vast universe of artistic expression.”
Exhibiting Artist Explorers:
Barbara Velasquez, Carol Hornig, Carol Pepper-Cooper, Christine Hales, Diane Christi, Diane Bethune, Edward Welch, Gloria K. Mirsky, Harriet Livathinos, Helen Kauffman, Karen St. Pierre, Joan Oliver, John Kleinhans,
Judith Gerrard, Judith Jamison, Leah Brown-Klein, Linda Miller, Llyn Towner, Lois Linet, Maeve Maurer, Maria Sultan, Marilyn Hauser, Marilyn MacClellan, Martha Hill, Michael Hopkins, Nanette Shapiro, Patti Gibbons, Peter Franceschetti, Petra Nimtz, Renee Englander, Susan Bissonnette, Terry Tomlinson, Trina Greene, Victoria Ettlinger.
Meredith Rosier Bio
b. 1957 Draftswoman, Mentor, Lecturer, Drawing Instructor
Meredith Rosier creates drawings that reflect her examination of the interaction between exactitude and vagueness. Employing tonality to sustain the apprehension of the picture plane and to slow the process of categorical recognition, she courts the dialogue of abstraction.
Rosier has studied drawing at Yale University School of Art, and was awarded a full scholarship for the Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. She was mentored by Jacob Landau until his death and by Irving Petlin of Paris, France. She was awarded residencies to The Winchester School of Art, Winchester, England; The Tangier American Legation Museum, Tangier, Morocco; The Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont and The Lacoste School of Art, Lacoste Vaucluse, France.
Her drawings reside in museum collections such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Weatherspoon Art Museum (Dillard Collection of Art on Paper), Greensboro, North Carolina; Arkansas Museum of Art (Drawing Collection), Little Rock, Arkansas; Italian Consulate Collection, Italy; and The Tangier American Legation Museum, Tangier, Morocco. She is the Recipient of the Sally Jacobs/Phoebe Towbin Award, Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Woodstock, New York.
Abstraction & Drawing: Interpretation & Form
“I have always loved drawings. Abstract drawings, especially. Consider that abstract drawings are analogous to prospecting for surprises. What could be more irresistible? As one who draws abstract forms, I like the directness and intrigue that beckons the moment hand and tool touch the surface. It is certainly an intrepid traipsing through the vault of formal abstract language.
Aside from exemplifying what is possible, drawing is fun. From the delight of the doodle to the mighty power of line to densities of pigment, the endeavor of drawing is a response to compositional contingencies in fluidity and flexibility. That one can court the interchangeability of form and void with the optical characteristics of material is a challenging negotiation. Take marks for starters. From delicate, velvety wisps to raspy mottled and modulated striations to precise mathematical linearity, marks catalog an evolving dimensionality in the rendering of space. Whether visually separating one discrete form from another or layering on heaps of pattern, a drawing can be repurposed and reformed to introduce divergent scale shifts. Careful looking animates new stories of saturation and legibility. A single object, minute or large amidst emptiness and fullness is but one eccentric recurring theme of drawing. I am all for exploration. No risk, no fun.
Drawing for me is a sort of kerfuffle and one in which the physicality of excavation begins at the threshold of thinking and drawing blind. Then follows looking, then choosing what shapes to re-arrange in order to create tension or how to lose it. Here it is, a reaching in, to that strange, electric encounter between hand and object. There are no rules or regulations. This is the alchemy of interrelation that has yet to be articulated.
When I venture in, my exploration is always new. Par for the course, there is endeavor and conflict. A dealing with the straight fact of line, the construction of composition and all these actions that disassemble, reassemble, noodle, wrangle, retool, it takes moxie. When you have moxie you need the tools to match.
Here I must make note of my loyal commentators; pencils, fingers, stump, erasers, dirt, pastel. The materials list, without finish. With kind thanks to the paper which I often scrub in the sink, only to be bathed in pigment again, wash, sand, score, tear and draw. It is an unceremonious chamber of uncertainties that blank piece of paper to which I headlong add logic and error. However, I do find that logic and error make vibrant partners.
Whether it is a willfully minimal haiku or complex knot of pattern, each drawing is a foreign land. I trawl for strategy amidst the great vacant estate of the paper. I wander over a granular pastel garden advancing and retreating color molecules. Over and over, I multiply the lines and by turn of an eraser, sublimate them. Or, evaporate them. Every scratch forward becomes a new clearing and a new constraint. All hands on deck, the surface can look like powdered embroidery, permanently busy.
My admiration of written and spoken language wandered into visual representation. I began employing a word to visualize an abstract image, and then, commenced to draw it with my eyes closed. Words are intriguing not just for their poetry but for the stories we have about them. They seem to acquire a person’s individual history. This creates an emerging reflection, a leaky translation of form, line and movement. Marked differences as it were.
My methodology trails the original Surrealist players. Enamored by their cue, I continue to play their restless game myself as well as teach my version of “Automatism” or Automatic Drawing. I deviate somewhat in that I employ a word or words to trigger a drawing. For example, the word swagger has a posture, stillness an atmosphere or pose. Kerfuffle converses with movement, as does wobble or clash. I can tell you, a word like garish certainly brings on gobs of diverse color. Words are embedded and lacquered with their own secret assignations.
When I hold up a drawing, I am immediately conscious that memory, personal and societal, loom large. The drawings embody all the travail and yet are miraculously free. After all, as children, we see shapes and colors before speaking. As we mature, these drawn conversations can take strange turns between the formal interplay of point, line and plane. Here the simplicity of each mark stands up to the depth of possibility in space. The arrangement of a composition can veer from sedate to set alight with fierce clarity to fanciful whimsy to pell mell and back again, all with an uneasy lack of concern for resolution. Spectacle and spectator become fused together by unexpected conjunctions and disjunctions. It is difficult not to feel alive looking at something saturated with freedom. Everything is possible.
The most striking thing about the drawings from the assignments is the personal spontaneity of mark making. These are serious mark makers at work. In some assignments, which I call “word-to-image”, a word is presented alongside a drawn version of the word. The drawings serve as an autograph. While the difference between word and image are clearly visible, they share the same author.”
- Meredith Rosier Presents: The Drawing Galaxy – Reception: Saturday, July 6, 4-9 pm (waamblog.wordpress.com)
Categories: Member exhibitions