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In both drawing and sculpture I’m interested in the depiction of gravity and weightlessness as both an operative and a disorienting force. I’m thinking about floating, sinking, rising, drifting, and the resulting fragility, disorientation, and instability.

This comment made by the New York-based artist Sarah Sze reveals much about her artistic intentions. She is interested in creating a physical and metaphysical experience through her complex yet lyrical assemblages of everyday materials. This exhibition presents her drawings, works on paper, and a series of new works that reflect not only her careful selection and placement of objects, but also her play between the boundaries of drawing and sculpture.

Checks and Balances (detail), 2011

The exhibition features a new series of installations where issues of perspective and choreography—of how the observer moves through space—are shown to great effect. One element of Sze’s work that is rarely acknowledged is her preoccupation with perspective, in particular, the views that appear distant and close within the same picture plane, frequently seen in Chinese traditional scroll paintings. She has described this as an interest in scale shifts that result from the absence of a middle ground, or the transitional space that bridges the foreground and background. Sze creates views through the use of line, light, and the arrangement of materials, which lead the eye across her work, much like the composition of a drawing.  Here, she has created a series of works that consider the line between two and three-dimensional space.  Using the vertical format of a hanging scroll as a starting point, the works extend from the wall and are drawn to the floor as they examine illusionary space, perspective, and the representation of landscape.

Also on view is a selection of works on paper and drawings from 1996 to the present. Sze’s drawings nearly always comprise alternate views and perspectives in the same picture planes using simple lines. We are sometimes unsure of the view, whether we are looking out into the distance or observing something microscopic. Other works include prints that incorporate planes of color to complement the line compositions and provide depth, while her more recent works, such as Checks and Balances, feature collage techniques and a greater focus on blurring the line between drawing and the sculptural object.


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