The Drawing Center will present Thread Lines, September 19–December 14, 2014, a group exhibition that disabuses the tradition of drawing as simply putting pen to paper, framing it instead as an open-ended act in which lines can be woven, stitched, even embodied. Spanning the period from the mid-1960s to the present, Thread Lines will feature sixteen artists who engage sewing, stitching, and weaving to create works that activate the expressive and conceptual potential of line and illuminate affinities between the mediums of textile and drawing. For some artists, line functions as a direct extension of the body—a performative act or participatory event. Others work in abstraction; and still others use line as a means of addressing personal narrative, gender identity, and politics. Multi-generational in scope, Thread Lines will bring together those pioneers who first unraveled the distinction between textile and art with a new wave of practitioners who have inherited and expanded upon their groundbreaking gestures. Curated by Joanna Kleinberg Romanow, Assistant Curator.


Anne Wilson’s To Cross (Walking New York), 2014 in the Main Gallery

Performance Times: Select Thursdays 2:30-7:30pm; Saturdays 12:30-5:30pm; Sundays 12:30- 5:30pm. Exact dates will be noted on our website.

After discovering that The Drawing Center’s SoHo building was originally built in 1866 for the Positive Motion Loom Company, Chicago-based artist Anne Wilson conceived of her latest sitespecific performance that will use the main gallery’s four central columns as a weaving loom. Recalling the physical structure and operations of the loom itself, the piece’s four participants will “walk” around the twelve foot columns, carrying a spool of thread to form a standard weaving cross (a method used to keep warp threads in order). The durational performance, which will take place over the course of two months, will result in the fabrication of a five by thirty-four foot sculpture: a colorful cross composed of innumerable strands of thread.

Kimsooja’s Thread Routes - Chapter I, 2010 in The Lab

On view September 18 – October 2, Wednesday-Sunday Korean artist Kimsooja will premiere the first in a series of six 16mm films that document the performative elements of varied forms of indigenous textile construction. Thread Routes - Chapter I, 2010 explores the Peruvian weaving culture set amid the highlands of Machu Picchu.

Participating Artists: Mónica Bengoa (b. 1969, Santiago, Chile), Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911, Paris, France–d. 2010, New York, NY), Sheila Hicks (b. 1934, Hastings, NE), Ellen Lesperance (b. 1971, Minneapolis, MN), Kimsooja (b. 1957, Taegu, Korea), Beryl Korot (b. 1945, New York, NY), Maria Lai (b. 1919, Ulassai, Sardinia–d. 2013, Cardedu, Sardinia), Sam Moyer (b. 1983, Chicago, IL), William J. O'Brien (b. 1975, Eastlake, OH), Robert Otto Epstein (b. 1979, Pittsburgh, PA), Jessica Rankin (b. 1971, Sydney, Australia), Elaine Reichek (b. 1943, New York, NY), Drew Shiflett (b. 1951, Chicago, IL), Alan Shields (b. 1944, Herington, KS–d. 2005, Shelter Island, NY), Lenore Tawney (b. 1907, Lorain, OH–d. 2007, New York, NY), and Anne Wilson (b. 1949, Detroit, MI).


Thursday, September 25 at 6:30pm
An evening walkthrough of Thread Lines with Curator, Joanna Kleinberg Romanow and participating artists Robert Otto Epstein, Beryl Korot, Sam Moyer, Jessica Rankin, Elaine Reicheck, and Drew Shiflett.


To accompany Thread Lines The Drawing Center will produce an edition in the Drawing Papers series, featuring color illustrations of the artworks and an essay by the exhibition’s curator.


In honor of the exhibition, New York-based artist Jessica Rankin has created a limited edition print, fabricated by Richloom Fabrics Group and Solo Impression. The print is an edition of five and will retail for $1,000. All proceeds will benefit The Drawing Center.


Thread Lines is made possible by the support of Richloom Fabrics Group, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Daniel Romanow, The Capital Group, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, Ambach & Rice, Galería Isabel Aninat, and Lesley Heller.