Mana Contemporary presents Flat Out: Works on Paper, 1960–2000, an exhibition curated by Karline Moeller and Ysabel Pinyol that explores drawing as employed by artists associated with Minimalism and Conceptualism in their founding years. Staged in conjunction with a suite of exhibitions and projects by John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Fred Sandback, and Andy Warhol, Flat Out focuses on drawing as a tool for planning work in three dimensions, also exploring its position as an element in creative practice more broadly, and as a direct means of communicating ideas.
“Drawing is a language,” writes Moeller, reminding us that this age-old practice exists as both a practical tool for visual thinking, planning, and design, and as a form in its own right. Through work in a surprising variety of mediums, the majority of it on paper, Flat Out explores the role that drawing continues to play in the creative strategies of a specific generation of artists, and prompts us to consider how developments since that group’s 1960s and ’70s heyday might have influenced its application by contemporary practitioners.
In a text published to accompany an exhibition at Galerie Heiner Friedrich, artist Mel Bochner characterized the featured drawings as either “finished,” “working” or “schematic,” also noting extensive overlap between these categories. Memorably characterizing working drawings as “the residue of thought,” he helped to establish a critical dialogue around the practice’s conceptual weight that remains pertinent, and which is addressed in Flat Out. Is drawing active or passive? Necessary or dispensable? Is it still, in the digital age, a useful method of communication or expression? What are its possibilities and limits?
Artists featured in the exhibition include: Jo Baer, Mel Bochner, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Linda Francis, Robert Grosvenor, Rebecca Horn, Donald Judd, Bernard Kirschenbaum, Imi Knoebel, Sol Lewitt, Walter de Maria, Blinky Palermo, Arnulf Rainer, Dorothea Rockburne, Dieter Roth, Fred Sandback, Lauretta Vinciarelli, Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol, Tad Wiley, Marian Zazeela, and Maria Zerres.