TABLE OF CONTENTS

slant

Marc Bauer

Marc Bauer, untitled, 2009, pencil and lithographic chalk on paper, 12 5/8 x 17 3/4". From the series Monument,” 2009.

MARC BAUER’S DRAWINGS constantly call themselves into question. Made largely with pencil, they nevertheless lack contours, renouncing what was long held to be the medium’s prime strength: its ability to delineate forms with high precision. The Swiss artist’s lines are so out of focus, in fact, that they barely give shape and definition, blending into one another to the point where they are on the verge of dissolving into a mist of gray. With all their blurring and smudging, his drawings instead seem to emulate painting, with its far more opaque surfaces. In this, Bauer plots a new twist in the classical story of drawing versus painting, a striking move in our supposedly postmedium age.

Take, for example, the sailors aiming their guns at an invisible enemy in an untitled work from “Monument,” 2009, one of two series inspired by Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film Battleship Potemkin. (

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.