photo by katja hiendlmayer, 2013

BETWEEN THE LINES is an exhibition of three positions that use drawings in the expanded field of practice within contemporary art. The exhibition magnifies the role played by drawing in terms of the power to describe, express, and as a method of narrative representation. There is a particular focus on the interstices of lines that walk, lines that talk, and lines that create the possibility of imagining alternative worlds of experience through forms of linear narration. read all

LAYERING THE LINE

To draw is to make a shape and movement in time. (Stuart Davis, 1951)

Specific issues of shape and movement, which may be either intended or realised by chance effect are a central premise to the recent drawings of Martin Raabenstein. Similarly, time, as an archaeological metaphor through layering, expresses a unique redolence in the current series of Ambush drawings. Following the now familiar convention of poetic heads and opaque presences the processes that form the present series are denser and more complex than previously exercised. It is less the ephemeral presence of tissue and transparency, but rather concentrates on impregnated layers of paper, ink drawing, through to glue and ink wash. read all

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THE GENERIC SELF AND ITS ADVERSARIES

The Rome Series

Open end
Resistance increases: each new series of drawings has a larger format. It is uncertain whether the project can ever be brought to a close. nine series have been produced so far, seven are awaiting realisation.

The outer impetus
The series take their names from the enemies of Rome, who also structure the entire project – beginning with Brennus, the gaulish general who plundered the city in the 4th century BC, and ending with Vercingetorix, another gaul, who made a final attempt to oppose Roman domination in 52 BC. The enemies of rome invoke its history, although only the period up to the transition from a republican to an imperial form of government. According to many historians this changeover to a repressive imperium, which supposed its enemies more within the state than without it, was the beginning of the decline; for Robert Harris too, whose novel imperium was the impetus for this work. Raabenstein determined seventeen main enemies of Rome in the period from the foundation of the city to Julius Caesar’s coup. There is a series of 70 to 120 drawings devoted to each one. read all

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LINES THAT WALK AND TALK

The Chess Series

The calligraphic line is not merely the line of writing, but through its emotional extension could be said to be a naturally expressive line of thought. and, if the moves on a chess board usually suggest strategic thought through their allotted lines of orientation, the calligraphic free form drawings of Martin Raabenstein liberate the figure’s pre-dispositions of structured thought into a state of imagined reverie. The family of calligraphic figures born of Raabenstein’s free representation have been turned into unique set of drawings. In the first instance the reference to a game apparently based on thought and strategy, might appear to limit the emotional side of life. But as the history of chess reveals, artists have always been fascinated with the symbolic characters that express what is fundamentally a war game played out on a grid-based battlefield space. read all