New York

Mark Manders

The Drawing Center / Greene Naftali

Dutch artist Mark Manders’s recent installation at the Drawing Center’s Drawing Room was one of the most unassuming and compelling exhibitions of contemporary art in recent memory. Simple graphite drawings were tacked to the walls; strips of masking tape, some with bits of text, were interspersed throughout; and a thick pile of drawings, wrapped neatly with string so that all but the topmost were unavailable for viewing, lay on the floor. The drawings, like the installation itself, had an expressive, direct, childlike quality that complemented the artist’s mythic and metaphysical preoccupations without seeming contrived.

In a statement in the exhibition catalogue, Manders says that for him “drawing is research into thinking rather than an investigation of perception.” He sometimes draws classically, as in Three Touched Numbers/Drawing with Bathtub, 1996–2000, then furiously scribbles over

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