Opens May 17
Mounira Al Solh, Catherine Anyango Grünewald, Andrea Bowers, Nidhal Chamekh, Eugenio Dittborn, Joy Gerrard, Leon Golub, Beatriz González, George Grosz, Erik van Lieshout, Lorna Simpson, Nancy Spero and Rirkrit Tiravanija
This exhibition considers the notion of the ‘graphic witness’, a term that harnesses the power of drawing to challenge and question the status quo, to record and reflect protest, as well as to bear witness to social injustices and the horrors of war. Graphic Witness explores the way drawings can both document injustices and become agents that encourage us to act. The artists here use drawing to produce evidence of conflict and suffering, commentaries on injustice and as tools to prompt social change.
Graphic Witness brings together artists working from the 1930s to today, and features new work made for the exhibition. Each artist produces consciously political art in response to particular situations, and the work is characterised by figurative representations of people and actions. Eschewing naturalism and reportage, the artists develop drawing modes that question accepted histories and speculate on alternative socio-political trajectories. Throughout the exhibition, we find the artists returning to the same image over and over again, to build evidence, as commentary, and to stimulate change for the better. Drawing is used to mediate acts of observation, archival material, the canon of art history, orally transmitted stories and documentary evidence of the effects of war and incarceration.
EVENTS AT DRAWING ROOM:
Workshop with artist Mounira Al Solh: Tuesday 16 May, 10.30am-1pm
Visual presentations of academic papers: On the drawings of Andrea Bowers by curator and writer Hannah Ellul ; Protest Drawings ’by artist Joy Gerrard; Nancy Spero: The War Series by art historian Rachel Warriner,15 June, 6.30 – 8pm
Drawing masterclass with artist Nidhal Chamekh: Monday 19 June, 10.30-1pm
Talk with artists Mounira Al Solh and Nidhal Chamekh and curators Amal Khalaf and Kate Macfarlane: Tuesday 20 June, 6.30 – 8pm