Because my eyes are drawing eyes,
I sometimes see things that others might not think of as drawings.
Christine Taylor Patten
Prior to their appearance at the 14th Istanbul Biennial September 2015, a series of drawings by Christine Taylor Patten called micro/macro will be exhibited at Leyden Gallery, London.
Christine Taylor Patten began her monumental micro/macro series of drawings on New Year’s Eve 1997. The project consists of 2001 works: 2000 one-by-one-inch (2.5cm) drawings and one seven-by-twenty-four-feet drawin (7.3 x 2.1 metres) Each one of the micro drawings is sequentially titled from 1 AD to 2000 AD and beyond. Drawn in crow quill and black ink, the abstract drawings in this long-term series are a mirror and expansion of the investigations into wave motion and relationship that Patten has engaged with in her drawings over two decades and in ten series.
This exhibition will consist of up to 250 of the intricately wrought, crow quill and ink micros as well as a single large-scale study for the macro, entitled Imagine³. There will also be an opportunity to see a number of ‘tangent’ drawings developed from one drawing within the series, indicating ever more possibilities held within each drawing. The micro/macro drawings on display progress from a single dot in space that breaks apart and then evolves into myriad movements, each one referencing the previous drawing and promising new possibilities for another, encompassing the range of abstract possibilities from the organic to the geometric. They emerge as an aesthetic evolution from within each drawing, each appearing as an repetition with difference of the preceding one that takes the drawing process into transformations dictated by the infinite possibilities held within each and within drawing itself. Taylor Patten says that she is ‘fascinated by the interconnections that happened as the series progresses, exposing familiar form caused by what has come before. The images reiterate each other yet they are changing from one movement to another, ad infinitum, with each pen stroke responding to what has already happened in the drawing. At each point of convergence the direction of the image is arbitrary, unplanned, evolving amongst the infinite possibilities generated by the process.’
Griselda Pollock, will give a talk on the work of Christine Taylor Patten at Leyden Gallery on 13 March at 18.00 (booking via Eventbrite). Pollock is also an advisor to the Istanbul Biennial in 2015, where micros 1000AD to 200AD and the final macro will be exhibited. As Griselda Pollock has said of this work, it is ‘Abstract, yet akin to contemporary scientific researches into chaos theory and turbulence, Christine Taylor Patten's work resonates with contemporary physics but also with music and the visual arts. Bach and Vermeer are invoked by the artist as her mentors and models, the one endlessly fascinated with the very possibilities of musical form yet deeply and passionately ethical and spiritual, the other quiet, purposive and relentless in his pursuit of a moment of peace in the resolved rhythm of the visual field. One might consider these drawings akin to the Fugues of Bach – and, in this sense, what we are looking at in this project, is the drawing of drawing.’
Emerging into artistic maturity and sharing an emerging field of new possibilities with artists such as Eva Hesse, Hannah Wilke and Lynda Benglis in their elaboration of the unharvested legacies of abstraction and minimalism, Christine Taylor Patten’s project, however, works with line, the mark, and the relay between embodiment and the ethical orientation to a world both politically traumatic and infinitely creative.