I loved the spontaneity and variety of the work in Modern Times. It made me think about all the reasons why we draw and all the ways we draw. It made me want to draw – but how?

I was particularly interested in the very abstract drawings I saw, and the processes which generated them. William Anastasi’s Subway Drawing, produced with a pencil in each hand while traveling on the subway; Cy Twombly’s familiar scrawls; Karoline Brockel’s Snow – all presented me with marks and lines full of energy and magic and some sort of meaning beyond normal understanding. Barry Le Va’s Untitled map-like work comprised of apparently random, tiny, irregular rectangles and equally tiny scribbles of differing weights and densities gave me the impression of some sort of coded communication. These code-like qualities are intensified in other works which feature numbers and letters, some set into graph-like tables or randomly spattered across the page. Although the exhibition is predominantly monochrome, those pieces involving colour seem to use it as additional clues to the code, sometimes arranged in blocks or strips to form some sort of order which one feels could be understood if only one knew the language.

Perhaps this is part of the magic of these marks for me – a suggestion of a secret language which, if only one could learn the code, might lead one to a greater understanding of … something… So, as an artist, perhaps my challenge is to be less concerned about representation of the physical and brave enough to explore through drawing representations of my thoughts and ideas.

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Friday 23 April 2010