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Walkthrough: Sari Dienes

Sari Dienes, Tred Squares, c. 1953–1955. Ink on webril, 36 × 36 inches. Courtesy of Sari Dienes Foundation, Pomona, NY. © Sari Dienes Foundation/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Curator-led tour of Sari Dienes exhibition with Alexis Lowry Murray and Delia Solomons, followed by a conversation about indexical art with artists Alison Knowles and Gillian Jagger, moderated by Julia Robinson, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, NYU.

In the early 1950s, Sari Dienes began to take inked impressions of found surfaces, revealing through graphic translation the abstract patterns and yet highly familiar objecthood of her subject, New York City's streets. Tracing the topography of Manhattan's subway grates, pavement, and manhole covers, Dienes's rubbings radically reinterpreted the surrealist practice of frottage for a postwar generation of artists.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, women artists have embraced indexical methods of mark-making as embodied records of process and place. This panel will explore the legacy of the index and how women artists have employed the technique to explore urban and natural topographies, to generate archival documentation, to bridge art and anthropology, and to issue critical responses to the concept of self-expression as it has been defined within the art world at large.