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Andrea Bowers, Nonviolent Protest Training, Abalone Alliance Camp, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and San Louis Obispo County Telegraph-Tribune, September 14, 1981 (detail), 2004, graphite pencil on paper, 38 x 49 3/4". From “Drawn from Photography.”

Drawn from Photography

Drawing Center

Andrea Bowers, Nonviolent Protest Training, Abalone Alliance Camp, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and San Louis Obispo County Telegraph-Tribune, September 14, 1981 (detail), 2004, graphite pencil on paper, 38 x 49 3/4". From “Drawn from Photography.”

In 1927, critic Siegfried Kracauer wrote, “Never before has an age been so informed about itself, if being informed means having an image of objects that resembles them in a photographic sense.” He didn’t mean it as a compliment. To him, the seemingly infinite archive of world events produced by photography conflates surface appearance with psychological depth, iconicity with memory, publicity with history. For the artists assembled in Claire Gilman’s kickoff exhibition as curator of the Drawing Center, the superficial mapping Kracauer warned of can be arrested only by a seemingly paradoxical process: keeping photographic resemblances intact, but dismantling their instantaneity and technological reproducibility via the meticulous labor of drawing. Artists such as Andrea Bowers, Sam Durant, Richard Forster, Karl Haendel, and Frank Selby, among thirteen total in the exhibition,

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