press release

The Bronx River Art Center is pleased to present The Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought, an exhibition curated by Mercedes Vicente that examines contemporary drawing and notions of slowness through the works of the artists David Brody, Marsha Cottrell, Simon Frost, Gary Gissler, Teo Gonzalez, Richard Howe, Robert Jack, Cynthia Lin and Morgan O'Hara. This exhibition opens on March 22 and runs through April 26.

The Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought is an attempt to explore, through the medium of drawing notions of slowing-down time. Moving away from new media, big installations with unorthodox materials or grandiloquent statements, the artists in The Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought have chosen to slow down the pace. They work on labor- intensive processes and repetitive tasks. Their subtle strategies and faint ephemeral markings enhance the viewer¹s perception, demanding an acute and quiet attention to the drawings. The range of these artists' commitment to the lengthening of time and to the drawing are evident in their diverse artistic strategies.

Robert Jack engages in the labor-intensive tasks such as applying tiny ink marks within a grid, penciled onto paper. The execution of a repetitive, banal gesture becomes an activity similar to meditation. Likewise, Teo Gonzalez's use of the minimal grid and repetition, formally brings the works of these two artists together. Yet upon close examination, one could not find two more opposite personalities. While Jack indulges and looks forward to the accidental mark that breaks the self-imposed rigid order, offering room for sensual and unexpected delights, Gonzalez diligently aims at ultimate perfection, rigor and his strict detachment fights any traces of personal touch.

David Brody's complex wall drawings are careful investigations of space and of the intricate basic structures embedded in the organic world. Marsha Cottrell's digital drawings are painstakingly built from collections of punctuation marks from word processing software. Compact yet elegantly rigorous, Cottrell's architectural abstractions are perceptually demanding, forcing the viewers eyes to travel within and throughout her works¹ multi-layered surfaces.

Compulsively driven, Gary Gissler's ruminations on language and its physical, hand-written form can be angst-ridden or cathartic. Richard Howe also turns to text as the material source. Picking on a literary line or a set of words, Howe re-writes the text with color pencils thousands of times, as "preparatory stage", formally and mentally speaking. The dense layers of words become blurred, turning into abstract landscapes.

Morgan O'Hara's drawings record and interpret the movement of the hands of musicians, chefs, poets, obstetricians and others, in the midst of their activities. Cynthia Lin's poetic drawings of dust are a visual challenge. At first glance, one can only perceive what looks like an all-white minimal painting. Made with graphite onto an enamel surface, Lin¹s increasingly microscopic studies of the infinite patterns and settlements of dust are of a restraint, exquisite beauty. Simon Frost¹s ambitiously idealistic drawings focus with patient persistence on the miniscule mark making made with graphite, colored pencil or ink. Frost creates works of an evocative organic quality.

In a culture of high-speed access, driven by an industrious notion of time that does not foster general well-being or individual fulfillment, the artists in The Sessions of Sweet Silent

Thought may serve as an antidote.

The Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought

mit David Brody, Marsha Cottrell, Simon Frost, Gary Gissler, Teo Gonzalez, Richard Howe, Robert Jack, Cynthia Lin, Morgan O´Hara