Jackson Mac Low, Drawing-Asymmetry #2, 1961, ink on paper, 8 1/2 × 12".

New York

“Jackson Mac Low: Lines–Letters–Words”

The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street
January 20–March 19

Curated by Brett Littman

To play is to enjoy exploratory intimacy with our brilliantly material world. To play with the aesthetics of language is to explore the materiality of the logics and independent vectors exposed when it is released from official grammars. In works on paper that often double as performance scores, Jackson Mac Low foregrounded the metamorphic forms—lettristic, phonemic, graphic, semantic—that emerged when, invoking the spirit of play, he put elements of chance in conversation with intention. Though influenced by the performative poetics of John Cage and by the Fluxus ethos, Mac Low’s Vocabularies, Drawing-Asymmetries, and Gathas uniquely merge poetry, music, and visual art in an almost synesthetic manner. Largely comprising drawings, this exhibition brings together eighty-two works from 1947 to 2000, including Mac Low’s 1961 Fluxfilm, Tree* Movie. The catalogue offers essays by poet Sylvia Gorelick and the show’s curator.