new-york

Tacita Dean

The Drawing Room, The Drawing Center

As a filmmaker who also works with the tools of drawing, Tacita Dean’s interest lies with the liminal potential of the storyboard: incomplete, evocative, suggesting a visual narrative bigger than it can contain. Unlike the film still, which is finished and looks backward, signifying a real but absent whole, the storyboard is a seed-idea, a blueprint. In Dean’s recent installation of seven chalkboard drawings—which together formed one integrated work, The Roaring Forties: Seven Boards in Seven Days, 1997—the artist sketched an epic tale with ephemeral means, a narrative whose cast and setting were completely specific, but whose imaginative possibilities remained deliberately unbounded.

Working in white chalk on 8-foot-square Masonite panels prepared with blackboard paint, Dean allowed herself seven days to complete her project. In that time, she drew seven scenes: a ship under full sail; a

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