These drawings are all small, five and half inches by four and a half inches. Pigmented pen on black rag paper.
The “character” designation manifests my concern with developing a language of sorts, even though no character means anything, only itself. This group of nine was not the only time I dealt with this stepping off point.
The language has to do with the actual drawing of the curve which is cursive in nature: trusting myself to begin and end at the same place when I made the single line that is the initial curve before cross-hatching over it.
These drawings adhered to the “concept” of doing them which is denoted by the titles. Seriously, the titles go on and on in a conceptual-art-descriptive format unfolding every detail of the idea that can be verbalized.
Top: “25 Attempts to Fill a Square with 50 non-ruled lines…”
Bottom: Top: “25 Attempts to Fill a Square with 50 ruled lines…”
These drawings were shown at the Claire S. Copley Gallery in 1974.
These eleven drawings are only the beginning of repeating the same drawing intentions over and over again on the same-sized paper. I dealt with lines across the page here as if they marked horizon lines.
My interest in the horizontal line equates with the view from my studio window at CalArts my last year and a half there when I was doing graduate work for my MFA degree.
I was committed to maintaining the minimalism and clarity of my ideas. But that changed. The horizontal lines resulted in the series, Still Life with Curves, 1-24, which were exhibited at Claire S. Copley Gallery in 1974.
These drawings have no meaning. They are mere vehicles to move the colored pencil around the paper in a fairly uniform way. They are all small, maybe 9 inches by 8 inches. A contrast to the large black and white drawings also executed in this year.
This drawing is called Uprooted. It is large, sixty inches by sixty-two and one half inches. In my new studio, I found a substantial piece of paper I had been saving from the roll of paper from which I cut a particular size for a recent commission for a collector in Washington, DC. and just pinned to the wall with bull clips on a wire in a kind of desperate, relieving act.
The “concept” inherent in this piece arose from the situation where I was compelled to sell my home of forty-two years; a home that was situated in the country on two acres of land on which a multitude of plants, trees, flowers grew and where a diverse group of indigenous animals lived.
My destination thankfully became a one floor condominium in a house in the city of North Adams, MA. The new abode is the size of one floor of my former residence. In fact, when I was still living in my house, I often imagined what it would be like to live on one floor. My imaginations came to fruition. I do not live in a loft. I do not live in a development. I live on the second and third floors of a house built in the 50’s.
The trip from beginning to end, from my house to my condo, took nine months.
Packing absorbed every day. It was my job.
I sent nearly fifty boxes and packages away, containing art books to an art archive, music books to those aficionados who would appreciate them, all my son’s belongings that he had left behind, and other objects which would have been useful to their recipients. Only two boxes of odds and ends went to Goodwill. A carload of plastic bins went to a high-end consignment store.
I made no art. Except for the commission arranged by my gallery. And even so, to do that I had to set up another workspace in the house because my studio was gradually becoming filled with boxes, so many that I could not easily walk through the room.
The moving experience drained my emotions and the clarity of my thinking “outside of the box.” I was doing it alone. With the valuable support from my friends in phone conversations that lasted an hour at a time.
However, my extraordinary capacity for organizing and being resourceful kicked in. That was the creative aspect of the whole venture.
Poetry on its own.
The energy expended to set up my new home drained me as well. My body and mind have to recover.
Much of the time the thought that this is the last place I will live haunts me. The notion of “finality” seems to be omnipresent. Perhaps it is for the reason that I have to work so hard to transcend it by merely going through the days and nights.
Uprooted embodies an aspect of the process of transcendence. It is an explosive description of the trauma that I underwent. Nevermind the pandemic and the horrors of 2020.
This drawing also embodies the beginnings of re-grounding without digging up dirt.
A period of decomposing and rearranging my chemistry to seize the life left to live.
I open the door and walk through it.
I find the water. I find the woods. I look up at the sky. I breathe. I elevate my senses. I recharge my consciousness.
These small drawings came out of seeing a tiny pile of twigs on my drawing table. The twigs had broken off apple tree branches with which I was making a large sculpture. I made the little pile because I knew that there was something interesting there.
In order to find the vision I imagined I would have, I photographed the pile. I enlarged the picture on the computer and made it black and white.
I traced individual black and white images on light blue paper and made each a different color, intending to span a legitimate “spectrum.”
I couldn’t have done this series without imaginary and sometimes actual conversations with Allan McCollum.
These drawings are derived from photographs that were taken of the hanging wrapped branch sculptures, the All Tied Up Series (https://lynhorton.net/category/art/2019/). Individual photographs were traced along a dividing line placed on a 15 inch by 11 inch piece of paper. The same traced image was then flipped and positioned in the other side of the dividing line to create an entirely new shape.
I could not have done these without an imaginary conversation with Allan McCollum.