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

‘Expanded’ by Nicole Lenzi

Brent Fogt / Hertson, 2011 /  ink and graphite on paper, 16 x 14.5 inches

My interest in non-traditional drawing began in an undergraduate course called Experimental Drawing and continued through graduate school. The blog Expanded is dedicated to presenting diverse drawing practices happening around the region that I live, Baltimore/Washington D.C.; country (United States), and world. It is a framework for consideration of what a drawing can be. The goal was also to create a space where artists, educators, and other organizations can reference and form dialogues.
In 2010, I participated in an exhibition entitled Drawing in the Expanded Field at Clara Hatton Gallery, University of Colorado. After research, “expanded” was clearly a term used in many contemporary drawing shows and college courses. Five years later, it is the title of this blog.
Historically, drawings were made to plan a painting or sculpture. Over time drawing emerged as an art form in and of itself. Traditional drawing is concerned with representation of subject matter. Nontraditional, on the other hand, employs strategies to explore concepts.
While the artists on Expanded often contrast each other, their core is the same. They all work unconventionally and push the boundaries of how to see and experience drawing. Artists who have participated typically work in or with 3D/installation, systems, process, performance, photography, technology, and experimental mark making. Contributor Brent Fogt allows weather conditions to create his drawings. Gelah Penn’s installations extend the language of drawing into architectural space.

Gelah Penn / Situations, Detail  2017 / Plastic tarps, foam rubber, lenticular plastic, Denril, plastic garbage bags, polyethylene sheets, stainless steel Choreoys, black foil, mosquito netting, latex & silicone tubing, mosquito netting, metal rods & staples, acrylic paint, rubber ball, upholstery & T-pins / 132 x 432 x 365 inches

Most often featured work is conceptually based and combines philosophies and styles in the most unusual ways. Marks accumulate in Monica Supe’s 3D and performative works. The artist engages in handicrafts that “visualize the working process”. Woven lines make time visible. One questions when the activity starts and if it ever really ends. On Expanded, artists’ works are open to seeing what can happen.

Monica Supe / Endlos, 2016 / 7, 8, 9, 11 (endless 7, 8, 9, 11) 2016, wire crocheted (10 x 10 x 10 cm – 14 x 14 x 14 cm)

Often, I think of the Experimental Drawing course that sparked my interest in the subject at hand and how the contributors are so dedicated to their practices. My professor, Herb Olds, would sit in front of the class, telling us, “Drawing is a language. We have to keep that language alive.” The language has since taken many forms.
Expanded : http://expandeddrawingpractices.blogspot.com/
Nicole Lenzi


Nicole Lenzi‘s interest in nontraditional drawing began in an undergraduate course called Experimental Drawing. She earned B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995 and an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007. She takes a multi-dimensional approach that includes installations, 3D, relief, and 2D works. Recent exhibits include Concept and Time and Space at CICA Museum, Seoul, South Korea; and Drawing Lines Across Mediums at Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY. Lenzi has maintained a blog on contemporary drawing, Expanded, since 2015 and is based in Baltimore, MD