Drawing Performance: Abstraction from Germany and the United States

Hanna Hennenkemper / re: 1/17, 2017 / Stamp on Japanese paper


‘Drawing Performance: Abstraction from Germany and the United States’ was presented at the Gallery Inga Kondeyne, Berlin.
This project is curated by USA based artist and curator James Bockelman and comprised of nine artists from Berlin and six artists from the United States. Drawing Performance traveled to three different venues over thevcourse of a year 2016-17. The first was presented at the Tugboat Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska, then the Maxhausen Gallery of Art on the campus of Concordia University Nebraska, finally returning to the Gallery Inga Kondeyne, Berlin.
In this exhibition, Bockelman raises a question using the quote from John Cage about the field of drawing which has not been categorized until now.
“What is a drawing? No one knows any longer…something that doesn’t require that you wait while yourmaking it for it to dry? Something on paper? Its question of emphasis.Thanksgiving. Art..”
Bockelman’s answer is that drawing today is an “event site” and he introduces 3 elements of drawing. “Surface”, “Activity” and “Registration”

1. Old Man Study Group (Hamlett Dobbins and Douglas Degges) / Untitled, 2016 / Gouache on paper
2. Carsten Sievers / o.T., 2013-2015 / Pencil on folded paper
3. Flora Wiegmann / Performing her piece, Dyslexicon, 2017

According to his sentences, “Surface” is where artists performed or even will be performing. Before artists draw on the material, there are readymade images on the surface such as cardboard packaging or an
incomplete crossword puzzle or even a black box theater. Even a blank sheet of paper is full of psychological tension. Artists make a line on it to indicate one’s boundary.

Drawing is also a celebration of human “Activity”. Artists observe something and copy how they see the world, using hand knowledge of the source as well as the employment of the muscle memory.
The sum of gestures are recorded both on the surface and in the movement of ones eyes. When you kiss a mirror, the mark is not only recorded on the mirror visually, but also remains in the physical act. In this way, drawing “registers” the performance.

The media in this exhibition is purposefully expansive and includes ball–point pen, dance, video, as well as
the use of tracing paper and other readymade, printed material. I see the artist’s various gestures and thought
processes. The three fundamental elements in drawing were intertwined with one another.

James Bockelman in front of his collage drawings

Kazuki Nakahara

Drawing Performance: Abstraction from Germany and the United States
23. June – . 29. July 2017
at Galerie Inga Kondeyne Berlin.
Participating artists from Berlin, Germany: Carsten Sievers, Nadine Fecht, Alexander Klenz, Hanna Hennenkemper, Johannes Regin, Kazuki Nakahara, Frank H. Taffelt
From United States: Hamlett Dobbins, Flora Wiegmann, Jered Sprecher, Steve Roden, Matthew Sontheimer, James Bockelman

‘道 – Michi (way)’ by Kazuki Nakahara

Cheers! I am currently doing a residency at a printmaking workshop in a small village near Leipzig.
When I heard of the concept of “Drawing Tube”, I imagined a well-ventilated thing that I could peek into at either end or from various ends. It is the circumstance that information flows not only in one direction, but goes backwards as well. I hope it will be a tool that connects the drawing scene across the world and allows anyone to see it.


In the book “文字逍遥 – Moji Shouyou (character stroll) ” written by an authority on kanji ideograms (Chinese characters) Shizuka Shirakawa, I found that the definition of ‘way’ and of ‘space’ is deeply connected with the concept of drawing.
In the primitive age of kanji culture the concept of the word “道 – Michi (way)” included the meaning that when humans tried to expand their living area they invade the space where wildlife and gods come and go.
“空間 – Kūkan (space)” and “空 – Kū (emptiness)“ are not inorganic blanks themselves, but rather living real worlds. There should be a special tension when making a way in such a space that is different from tracing an established line today. Thus organic lines involve the will to contact the outer world and the sense of tension of entering a space which is empty but not blank.
Kazuki Nakahara

Shizuka Shirakawa. 1987. 文字逍遥 – Moji Shouyou (character stroll) . 平凡社 – Heibonsha.

Kazuki Nakahara (b. 1980, Kagawa,Japan) lives and works in Berlin. He studied for a Bachelor of Economics(Japan) at Yokohama City University (2000-2005), followed by History of Art at The University of Vienna (2003-2004), Fine Art at The Berlin Weisensee School of Art (2005-2010) and a MFA at The Berlin Weisensee School of Art (2011). His recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Inga Kondeyne, Berlin (2015, 2013) ;  Le Salon Vert, Geneve (2015); Schrift, curated by Maya Minder, Werbeflaeche, Zurich (2013);. Recent group exhibitions include FID Drawing Prize, Gallery Catherine Putman, Paris (2014); Paarlauf, Gallery Inga Kondeyne, Berlin (2014); FID Drawing Prize,The Drawaing Box,Tournai (2014); travelling light, Centre for Recent Drawing, London (2014); Dachwood und Zeichnug, curated by Rieger+Shtein, Marthashof, Berlin (2014); Transition, LIA, Leipzig (2013); ICH UND DU,Galerie Inga Kondeyne, Seitz und Partner, Berlin (2013); 3.André Evard-Preis für konkret-konstruktive Kunst, Kunsthalle Messmer, Riegel am Kaiserstuhl (2013); Reactivate!Art in Public, Zug (2013); and Preview Berlin, Galerie Maniere noire, Berlin (2013).


image : 中原一樹 / 道 / 2015年 / 21x30cm/ 紙にインク

Image: Kazuki Nakahara /道 – Michi (way) / 2015 / 21x30cm / ink on paper