Susan Te Kahurangi King’s rich, strange drawings at Andrew Edlin Gallery fell into two groups: works from the 1970s and those from the ’80s. The works in the earlier group are kinetic: They evoke waves that surge and loom and fall from one side of a sheet to another, and that seem to have taken upand then been taken over bya mass of cartoonlike objects and shapes in their paths: spoonbills, Mickey Mouse hands, a pinwheel of legs, a curvy calf, and a foot in a Mary Jane–style shoe. Difficult, at times, to discern, these items appear and reappear in fields of soft pencil marks that sometimes fade to a light graphite or watercolor wash, occasionally interrupted by rougher swatches of colored crayon or ink.
At the age of four, the New Zealand–born King gradually stopped speaking, and her parents encouraged her to draw. The recent exhibition coincided with an exhibition of
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