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Opening Reception: 2015 Spring Exhibitions

Natalie Frank, Cinderella II, 2011–14, Gouache and chalk pastel on Arches paper, 22 × 30 inches (55.9 × 76.2 cm), Courtesy of  the Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin; Promised gift of Kathleen Irvin Loughlin and Chris Loughlin

Join us for the opening reception of Portraits from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris, Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, Open Sessions 3, Rachel Goodyear: Restless Guests, and Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter.

In the Main Gallery, Portraits from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris explores four hundred years of portrait drawings from live models. Each week, a different set of four portraits from different centuries and with different formal qualities will be hung "in dialogue" with each other in a specially-built room located in the center of The Drawing Center’s Main Gallery. Forty portraits have been chosen from the collection of Beaux-Arts de Paris based on diverse criteria such as the male and female gestures, caricature, frontal gaze, social class, and profession of the model. The remaining thirty six portraits in the exhibition will be hung on the gallery's back walls and will be visible to the visitor throughout the exhibition's run.

In Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, located in the Drawing Room, Frank applies her visual and psychological acumen to that most evocative and misunderstood of literary forms, the fairytale. Only a few contemporary artists have worked with the fairytale genre; fewer still have systematically interrogated the complexity of these tales and the way in which they address social and sexual mores that continue to have relevance today.

In addition in The Lab gallery, Open Sessions continues with artist-directed group exhibitions. Open Sessions 3 will include artists Becky Brown, Ernesto Caivano, Annette Cords, Steffani Jemison, Nyeema Morgan, Zach Rockhill, and Jina Valentine. Organized by the artists and by Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions Curators.

Also each year an artist will be invited to create a site-specific wall drawing in The Drawing Center’s main stairwell. The Center commences this series in April 2015 with a commission by contemporary artist Abdelkader Benchamma. For his first U.S. museum presentation, Benchamma will create an astrological vortex in the strikingly graphic large-scale drawing, Representation of Dark Matter, 2015. Comprised of a series of linear abstractions and nebulous, inkblot forms the work is a highly articulated depiction of the complexity of the solar system and its nearly imperceptible dark matter.

In The Lab corridor, Rachel Goodyear: Restless Guests will present a selection of drawings and hand-drawn animations. The animated works loop seamlessly, unfolding a narrative that never fully coheres, while the drawings - inspired by found sources, Goodyear's own photographs, and studies of invented scenarios - evoke a sense of drifting in and out of focus and consciousness.