Carsten Sievers. Berlin. Titless. 2013 (left) 2014 (right). Pencil, folded paper. Photo by Jordyn Sturms
by Jordyn Sturms
James Bockelman, professor of art and director of Marxhausen Gallery of Art, held a public talk in the auditorium of the Thom Leadership Educational Center on Jan. 22 about the new art exhibit “Drawing Performance: Abstractions from Berlin and the United States,” which is currently exhibited in the Marxhausen Gallery of Art.
The inspiration behind “Drawing Performance” came from Bockelman’s second of seven visits to the Galerie Inga Kondeyne in Berlin.
“I immediately fell in love with that space and her work that she showed,” said Bockelman. “I thought they were fresh ideas.”
Bockelman traveled to Berlin in order to make contact with German university professor Hanna Hennekemper in regards to a scholarship. During the trip, Bockelman made connections with the hostess of his hotel, Hennekemper and Inga Kondeyne. From his time in Berlin, Bockelman formed the idea for a gallery exhibition connecting Berlin artists with United States artists. Bockelman paired artists that related with one another under his impression of drawing and performance.
“I chose drawings and film and dance that I feel emphasizes activity in some way,” Bockelman said.
The activity relates to a repeated or mimetic idea. Bockelman focused on surface, activity and index. Beyond the concept of routine or gesture, the image itself is important. Bockelman feels the pieces individually are stunning. While not expecting everyone to have the same experience, he wants the audience to be exposed to this concept.
“We often think art is made for us when it is first made for the artist,” said Bockelman.
Featured artists for “Drawing Performance” include Kazuki Nakahara, Alex Klenz, Hanna Hennenkemper, Nadine Fecht, Hammlett Dobbinns, James Bockelman, Flora Wiegmann, Frank H. Taffelt, Jered Sprecher, Matthew Sontheimer, Carston Sievers, Johannes Regin and Steve Roden.
In the midst of an increase in political art, there is the freedom to make abstract work. Bockelman said choosing to create abstract art can be a political statement in itself.
Bockelman hopes that the audience of “Drawing Performance” walks away with exposure to art that is under the radar, as well as simple, everyday activities.
“I just hope that [the audience’s] appreciation for the visual is broadened. Or even simple activities.”
“Drawing Performance: Abstraction from Berlin and the United States” will be on display until February 10. The Marxhausen Gallery of Art is located in Jesse Hall and is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 1-4 p.m. on weekends.