Artists on Ecce Homo: The Drawings of General Idea

Join The Drawing Center’s Claire Gilman and critic Alex Kitnick for an evening with Nayland Blake, Paige K. Bradley, Leidy Churchman, Maryam Hoseini, and Wayne Koestenbaum. These New York-based artists and writers were asked to reflect on a drawing from the exhibition Ecce Homo: The Drawings of General Idea. These drawings are little-known and reveal another side of the group's multi-faceted practice. Where General Idea's work typically deals with the media's codes, and takes the form of films, performances, and magazines, these drawings disclose a more handmade and spontaneous quality—though play, camp, and pathos are still very much evident.

The evening will include insightful writings and personal ruminations that help unpack these strange and compelling drawings by General Idea.


Alex Kitnick is Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and a frequent contributor to Artforum and October. His book Distant Early Warning: Marshall McLuhan and the Transformation of the Avant-Garde was published by University of Chicago Press in 2021. He also contributed an essay to the catalog accompanying the current General Idea retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada.

Nayland Blake is an artist, writer, educator and curator. Born in New York City in 1960, they attended Bard College and then California Institute of the Arts. After receiving their MFA, they moved to San Francisco in 1984. They have had one-person exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University Art Museum, Berkeley; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in SanFrancisco, and the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Their Retrospective “No Wrong Holes - 30 years of Nayland Blake opened in 2019 at the ICALA and closed in 2021 at the MIT LIst Center. They are currently the co-director of the studio art program at Bard College.

Paige K. B. is an artist, writer, and editor whose exhibitions this year have included solo projects at Lubov and KAJE, a group show at Theta, and a collaboration with Canal Street Research Association for Greater New York at MoMA PS1. Her writing has appeared across numerous publications for the past decade, including Artforum—where she was formerly an associate editor—Viscose, Frieze, Spike, Topical Cream, GARAGE, and the third edition of Phaidon's drawing survey, Vitamin D3: Today’s Best in Contemporary Drawing (2021), among others. She recently published a monographic essay on the art of Suellen Rocca, available from Matthew Marks, and edited the English translation of the memoir Try Saying You’re Alive! Kazuki Tomokawa in His Own Words for Blank Forms. She is currently at work on an essay for Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda to be published in their volume for the FRAC Lorraine in Metz, France, and has work on view at the Broodthaers Society of America in New York.

Leidy Churchman (b. 1979) was born in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and lives and works in New York and Maine. Churchman’s work has been shown at museums including MoMA PS1 in New York, Museum Brandhorst in Munich, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. One-person exhibitions include the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, the Boston University Art Gallery, the Hessel Museum at CCS Bard in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Churchman was recently included in the Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept.

Maryam Hoseini, born in Tehran, Iran in 1988, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. They received their BFA in Tehran in 2012 and MFA degrees from Bard College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both in 2016. Hoseini’s recent solo and two-person exhibitions include : New Museum, New York, Deborah Schamoni Gallery, Munich, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York. Recent group exhibitions include : Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia, Italy, Ca’ del Duca, Venice, Italy, MoMA P.S.1, New York, The Arts Club, London, and The Shed, New York.

Wayne Koestenbaum—poet, critic, fiction-writer, artist, filmmaker, performer—has published 22 books, including Ultramarine, The Cheerful Scapegoat, Figure It Out, Camp Marmalade, My 1980s & Other Essays, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Humiliation, Hotel Theory, Circus, Andy Warhol, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award). His first feature-length film, The Collective, premiered at UnionDocs (New York) in 2021. In 2020 he received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired his literary archive in 2019. He is a Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center.