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Drawing Room/Tannery Arts
Unit 1b, New Tannery Way
London, SE1 5WS
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Tannery Arts is a small, independent charity concerned with supporting the professional development of emerging and established artists through the provision of affordable studios, promoting their practice through opportunities to exhibit work, develop projects, generate partnerships with local authorities, private property owners and social housing organisations as well as engage in learning activities.
Press preview 16 and 17 May by appointment.
Opening 17 May, 6-8.30pm, curator's tour, 6:00-6:30pm
Artists include Mounira Al Solh, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Andrea Bowers, Nidhal Chamekh, Eugenio Dittborn, Joy Gerrard, Leon Golub, Beatriz González, George Grosz, Erik van Lieshout, Lorna Simpson, Nancy Spero and Rirkrit Tiravanija
This exhibition considers the notion of the ‘graphic witness’, a term that harnesses the power of drawing to challenge and question the status quo, to record and reflect protest, as well as to bear witness to social injustices and the horrors of war. Graphic Witness explores the way drawings can both document injustices and become agents that encourage us to act. The artists here use drawing to produce evidence of conflict and suffering, commentaries on injustice and as tools to prompt social change.
To witness is to have observed, either as a participant, as a bystander or remotely; to create a graphic response to this act of witnessing is to reconstruct this experience in the immediate aftermath or at a later point in time. Drawing is particularly suited to representing evidence as it is a legible medium; to look closely at a drawing is to trace the history of its making and in this sense each drawing acts as its own witness. When photography is unavailable or inappropriate, drawing can act as witness, and produce subjective commentary on injustice. Often less explicit than photographs, drawings can prompt a more wide-ranging debate about miscarriages of justice and conflict, and act as tools to prompt social change.
Graphic Witness brings together artists working from the 1930s to today, and features new work made for the exhibition. Each artist produces consciously political art in response to particular situations, and the work is characterised by figurative representations of people and actions. Eschewing naturalism and reportage, the artists develop drawing modes that question accepted histories and speculate on alternative socio-political trajectories. Throughout the exhibition, we find the artists returning to the same image over and over again, to build evidence, as commentary, and to stimulate change for the better. Drawing is used to mediate acts of observation, archival material, the canon of art history, orally transmitted stories and documentary evidence of the effects of war and incarceration.
Graphic Witness is related to a chapter of the same name by Kate Macfarlane (curator and co-director, Drawing Room) commissioned for The Companion to Contemporary Drawing edited by Kelly Chorpening and Rebecca Fortnum to be published by Wiley Blackwell in 2018.
For further details, interview and image requests please contact Communications Manager Jessica Temple [email protected]
ARTIST BIOS: Mounira Al Solh, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Andrea Bowers, Nidhal Chamekh, Eugenio Dittborn, Joy Gerrard, Leon Golub, Beatriz González, George Grosz, Erik van Lieshout, Lorna Simpson, Nancy Spero and Rirkrit Tiravanija
IMAGE ABOVE: Rirkrit Tiravanija, untitled 2007 (demonstration drawing #78), 2007. Pencil on paper, 24 x 33 cm (framed).
**PLEASE CLICK IMAGES BELOW TO VIEW IN FULL**
Mounira Al SolhAre you pretending to be Jesus?Oil, acrylic, black ink and charcoal on canvas, 168 x 210 cm
Beatriz GonzálezLas Delicias 9, 1998Charcoal on paper, 31,8 x 47 cm
Catherine Anyango GrünewaldLive, Moments ago (The Death of Mike Brown, Ferguson, 9.8.14), 2015Film still
Andrea BowersMade in U.S.A. (La Raza, Vol. IV, No. 2, December 1968, L.A. cover page)Graphite on paper, 42.5 x 43 cm
Andrea BowersFascist Police (Inside Eastside 1968, no.14, pg 7), 2015Graphite on paper, 62 x 43.5 cm
Andrea BowersMigration is Beautiful II (May Day, Los Angeles 2013), 2015Graphite on paper, 43 x 61.5 cm
Andrea BowersMigration is Beautiful I (May Day, Los Angeles 2013), 2015Graphite on paper, 43 x 61.5 cm
Nidhal ChamekhStudying Circles, 2015Graphite on wood-free paper, 240 x 300 cm
Nidhal Chamekh#icare, 2016Pencil, ink and felt pen on cotton paper, 23 x 30 cm
Nidhal ChamekhEtude d’un Habitat de Fortune, 2016Pencil and ink on cotton paper,
23 x 30 cm
Nidhal ChamekLe Battement des Ailes No. IV, 2016Pencil, ink and felt pen on cotton paper, 23 x 30 cm
Nidhal ChamekhLe Battement des Ailes II, 2016Graphite, ink and transfer on cotton paper, 23 x 32.5 cm
Joy GerrardProtest Crowd, Chicago, USA, Trump Rally (2016), 2017Japanese ink on linen, 195 x 300 cm
Leon GolubThis Could Be You #14, 2001Acrylic on linen, 21 x 18.75 in.
Beatriz GonzálezLas Delicias 6, 1998Charcoal on paper. 46.8 x 32.3 cm
Erik van LieshoutUntitled, 2014Charcoal and vinyl on paper, 182 x 150 cm (unframed)
Erik van LieshoutUntitled, 2014Charcoal, acrylic and ink on paper, 206 x 150 cm (unframed)
Lorna SimpsonBed Green (Interrogation Series), 2008Graphite and ink on paper, 27.94 x 21.59 cm
Lorna SimpsonPerspective 1 (Interrogation Series), 2008Graphite and ink on paper, 27.94 x 21.59 cm
Lorna SimpsonBlack 8 (Interrogation Series), 2008Graphite and ink on paper, 27.94 x 21.59 cm
Nancy SperoCrematorium Chimney, 1968Gouache & ink on paper, 35.5 x 23.5 in.
Rirkrit Tiravanijauntitled 2007 (demonstration drawing #78), 2007Pencil on paper, 24 x 33 cm (framed)
Rirkrit Tiravanijauntitled 2007 (demonstration drawing #33), 2007Pencil on paper, 33 x 24 cm (framed)
Rirkrit Tiravanijauntitled 2007 (demonstration drawing #179), 2007Pencil on paper, 24 x 33 cm (unframed)