Louise Despont: Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture

Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture is the first solo museum exhibition for Louise Despont, an artist best known for using compasses, stencils, and rulers to create intricate and deeply meditative drawings on ledger paper. For Energy Scaffolds and Information Architecture, The Drawing Center has commissioned a site-specific architectural installation and several series of large-scale drawings that have been influenced by Despont’s recent relocation to Bali.

The first architectural enclosure on view, entitled Pure Potential, consists of a wooden façade covered by wooden dowels that create a textured and protective surface. For Despont, the series of eight Pure Potential drawings represent the transition of energy from formlessness into form.

The second architectural space, which is oval in shape, holds a monumental frieze drawing that is sixty feet in length, six feet in height, and composed of seven panels. The drawing depicts the relationship between a material form and a subtle body—the independent entity that manifests through the physical self. For Despont, the drawn lines in each work symbolize the invisible structures, channels, and pathways of energy that flow through and exist in symbiosis with the human body. The seven sections of this monumental work are divided by ten columns, each of which is fitted with a diamond form surrounded by a checkered pattern. The design is inspired by the Balinese kain poleng, a manifestation of sacred balance, while the diamond symbolizes the eye of awareness.

As part of the installation, Despont has invited conceptual artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner to present his gamelatron, an original instrument created by Kuffner that is a robotic variant of the gamelan, the traditional Balinese and Javanese orchestra that includes vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells, and gongs.

Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.

Exhibition Materials


Past Programs