Laura Vandenburgh

Thick Drawings

Laura Vandenburgh

source: ditchprojects

Thick Drawings presents recent large-scale drawings that straddle the floor and wall. This new work explores ongoing questions of incremental and distributed systems on a more physical and sustained scale. Employing a net structure that expands, contracts and adapts as it grows, small unspectacular actions accrue to yield something more complex and unknown. Through the gradual marking, cutting and stacking of paper, a field emerges.
Each totally its own frail self.
Even though connected all which ways; even because connected all which ways.
-Gary Snyder
Bio:
Laura Vandenburgh’s drawing-based work has been widely exhibited, including venues in New York, Toronto, Seattle and Portland. Currently, her work is included a traveling exhibition in Germany, Wolkenschauen, and will be featured in an upcoming three person show, Constructs, at Disjecta in Portland. Vandenburgh received her MFA from Hunter College in New York, following DVM and BS degrees from the University of California, Davis. She lives and works in Springfield, OR and teaches at the University of Oregon.
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source: lauravandenburgh

Grounded in drawing, my work has encompassed installations, wall drawings and works on paper that explore subjective geographies. My work has long been driven by questions of how we are situated within, and continuous with, natural systems and the physical environment; how is place a dynamic situation we are a part of rather than a location? how do we experience longing? how are we both near and far?

The recent work has largely shifted from the wall to floor, as the drawings began to suggest aerial perspectives. Made of heavy paper, they are marked with ink, watercolor, markers, graphite and acrylic, cut, layered and stacked, some with color on the reverse side reflecting light onto their surroundings. The drawings begin from a starting variable – a hole or an edge – and unfold through a gradual and sustained accumulation of marks without a pre-determined plan. Working with a net pattern that expands, contracts and adapts as it grows, as well as the incremental cutting and stacking of paper, a field or form emerges. While these pieces often resemble topography, they are not representations of actual places, but rather speculative fictions. To me, this incremental process of marking and cutting echoes the way that organic and inorganic systems evolve. I am interested in the way that small, unspectacular decisions accrue over time to develop something more complex and surprising, spaces that are both familiar and strange.

Through this process, the drawings have largely left the rectangle of the paper and, in many cases, the wall. Shifted onto the floor, the drawings have become both thick and porous – stacked and perforated – a territory to look down into and through. Although the drawings lay quite flat against the floor, the drawn fields create the illusion of depth and the sinkholes and piles (built through the stacking of paper) introduce actual depth. As fictions, they are suspended between real and imaginary space, between here and there. The drawings become a network of holes and shifting plates; rather than fixed and impervious, the ground they form is in flux, contingent.