New York

Robert Goldman, untitled, 1991, ink on paper, 5 1⁄2 × 8 1⁄2". From “Notebook.”

“Notebook”

56 Henry

The request was simple. The artist Joanne Greenbaum, the curator of this show at 56 Henry, asked each contributor for a “notebook drawing,” defined as a work that they would “never show to a dealer or pull out during a studio visit.” The notebook page is a site of experimentation; it affords a glimpse into the mind of the practitioner while s/he is dreaming and creating. Sheets of modest size—containing doodles, scribbles, diagrams, calculations—ripped from sketch pads, notebook drawings are typically studies for something else, or nothing at all. Their status as “art” is uncertain; this precariousness is part of their appeal. 

There is a history of shows like this one. Mel Bochner’s “Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art,” held at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1966, presented artists’ sketches and preparatory materials in

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