Agnes Lux & Ray Hamilton
July 12 - July 28, 2012
re-opening: August 28 - September 9, 2012
34 Orchard Street, New York, NY
Despite radically different backgrounds Agnes Lux and Ray Hamilton share common ground through the act of drawing. With drawing traditional boundaries subside and the medium's simplicity and directness many times makes it difficult to ascertain when they were done, and by whom. There is a leveling of hierarchical aesthetic categories, and though these two artists couldn't be more divergent their similar systems and ways of doing give rise to surprisingly complimentary visual results.
Ray Hamilton (b. 1919 Columbia, South Carolina, died 1996 Brooklyn, New York). After a debilitating stroke at age 71 Hamilton's movement was very limited, and a drawing pad became his world and a way to account, organize, and stay busy. Although Hamilton made numerous drawings prior to the stroke, the drawings in this exhibition were made in 1991-93 after the stroke and using his opposite hand. Whether it's apples, oranges, pears, raisin or cookie boxes, his work describes the accumulation of whatever was nearby. Obsessively cataloging via colorful and formally intriguing compositions each drawing consists of traced objects which are multiplied from five to fifteen times, sometimes mixing disparate items. Repeating and reckoning with vivid primary colors built up by overlaid lines, now and again adding numerals in between, he cataloged his life as a way of passing time and bearing witness.
Mirroring Hamilton's attention to daily minutiae Agnes Lux (Born 1983, Solingen, Germany) employs the quintessentially quotidian postcard in her drawings. Lux sends out hundreds of graphite drawings on cards to herself, circulating them through the postal system before their return to her studio. The individual cards are then enlisted in her system of assembled elements to form her large-scale works. She marks time, using repetition to combine the personal with the anonymously mass-produced to create visual poetry. Scratched, smudged, abraded, the weathering the cards endure as a random yet affecting reminder of outside existence is incorporated into a foundation for abstraction. Lux's compulsive ordering and re-ordering in service of black and white graphical non-representation both contrasts with, and is oddly a companion to, Hamilton's multi-hued universe of things at hand.