heavy: images of grief

About a month ago, my Contemporary Drawing students began a project that I nicknamed “the gallery of grief.” With a nod to artist (and mentor) Richard Roth and last year’s amazing show at the Drawing Center, “Drawn from Photography,” the students collected and curated images of grief gleaned from print sources, the Internet and personal photographs. As a class we used the exhibition catalog copy from “Drawn from Photography” as an initial text for discussing and creating conceptual work as a translation artist. The students wrote the statement below, advertised the show, installed and lighted the work, catered a gorgeous funerary banquet and created a somber musical playlist for a special, one night event in the arts annex. An exhibition catalog was also printed, an exercise in professionally documenting work. It was an exceptional night, one that I won’t soon forget as an educator. More than 100 people showed up for the two hour opening.


“Artists for re-creation monitor present-day comprehension through new iterations.”  -Lynne Tillman, Drawing from a Translation Artist

HEAVY is an exhibition organized by Drawing: Contemporary Applications, consisting of a series of drawings inspired by photographic images of grief. These images were gleaned from different media sources, including newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. What does grief look like in contemporary culture? In what ways do we collectively deal with loss?

Each drawing in this show takes a unique approach to the process of translation. Some are quite literal, while others are active reconstructions of their source material. All of them, however, strive to introduce a personal element into images that – by their sheer pervasiveness – have become banal, or even cliché.

This exhibition hopes to bring viewers (and us as artists) more intimately in contact with these images, which would otherwise likely be ignored or overlooked. The processes of interpretation and re-interpretation in these drawings help foster a deeper connection to current events in the greater world, which, though not always directly, affect us in profound ways.

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