Thursday, April 26, 2012

Did You Know :: Anne Lindberg: Modal Lines

Did You Know :: Anne Lindberg: Modal Lines 
March 24-July 15, 2012
Adapted from an interview with Sally Deskins, Janurary 12, 2012 

Anne Lindberg grew up in Iowa City, IA where her father taught at the University of Iowa. She lived in Australia twice before she was twelve years old, and in Denmark when she was about seven years old. Lindberg grew up around artists. Her mother is an artist, her grandmother was an artist, her brother is a photographer, her sister-in-law is a poet, one of her Danish ancestors (who lived in Lindberg, Sweden) was an architect, and her husband is a lighting designer. So, Anne first encountered art with her immediate family. She recalls lovely memories of lively meals around the dinner table with her family, and a myriad of invited artists, cooks, weavers, historians, dancers, antique collectors and scientists. Anne’s father is a geologist and economic geographer, so her voice as an artist is greatly informed by art, literature and science. Anne recalls many vivid memories from her childhood of encounters with creative people. She made puppets starting at the age of 4 with a magical woman named Monica, and used to cut colorful paper shapes for hours with her aunt Wendy. Lindberg participated in a circus exhibition in a museum as a result of a family friend named Byron, and remembers listening to Byron tell about traveling with one-ring circuses in small towns of Iowa. She recalls learning to skate a perfect figure 8 on ice with an entomologist named Barbara – these people and so many others in her family showed her something of the compelling and mysterious life of a creative person. Anne started college thinking she would study anthropology or history, but after a few internships and jobs in museums realized that she wanted to make things.

Neurologists have determined that the old brain holds the seat of our most primal understandings of the world. Goodwill, security, fear, anxiety, self-protection, gravity, sexuality, and compulsive behaviors generate from this lower cerebral core. My sculpture and drawings inhabit a non-verbal place resonant with such primal human conditions. Systemic and non-representational, these works are subtle, rhythmic, abstract, and immersive. I find beauty and disturbance through shifts in tool, layering and material to create passages of tone, density, speed, path and frequency within a system. In recent room-sized installations like drawn pink at Bemis [Contemporary Art Center], I have discovered an optical and spatial phenomenon that excites me as the work spans the outer reaches of our peripheral vision. The work references physiological systems – such as heartbeat, respiration, neural paths, equilibrium - and psychological states. I’ve come to understand my work as a kind of self-portraiture. Within the quiet reserve and formal abstraction is a strong impulse to speak from a deep place within myself about that is private, vulnerable, fragile, and perceptive to the human condition. My work is a mirror of how I experience the world, and as I negotiate physicality, optics and ideas through drawing languages, my voice withholds, blurs, teases and veils. I frequently return to subtle distinctions between drawing as noun and verb as a long held focus in my studio practice. This blurred distinction drives my fascination with an expanded definition of drawing languages and the resurgence of drawing in contemporary art. My collective body of work is an iteration of this language.

Ask visitors their immediate responses to Anne Lindberg’s Modal Lines.
Ask visitors why they react in the ways that they have described. What about Anne’s work elicits their response(s)? Can they identify some specific characteristic or another about the work that they respond to? 
Explain that among Anne Lindberg’s interests is the purity and simplicity of drawing. Her interest is in what can be accomplished with just one tool—drawing. She uses the repetition of lines, drawn or strung, to create space—by illusion and perception, but also by the repetition of lines of string to create space.
Ask visitors what is a line? :: A form that has length and width, but the width is tiny in comparison to its length that we perceive line as having only one dimension.
Ask visitors how the repetition of one kind of gesture—a line—changes their perception of a piece like Andante Green.
Explain that geometry defines a line as an infinite number of points. How does that definition affect the understanding of Lindberg’s drawings?
Explain that one art definition of a line is a moving dot—a useful definition because it recognizes the dynamic quality of lines, like those in Lindberg’s installation. A line is created by movement. Because our eyes must move to follow a line.
Explain that a line is a minimal sort of statement by an artist, made quickly with a minimum of effort, but seemingly able to convey all sorts of thoughts, feelings, moods, and ideas.
Ask visitors what adjectives can be used to describe lines like in Lindberg’s work. Nervous? Tense? Angry? Happy? Free? Quiet? Excited? Calm? Graceful? Ask visitors about a line like:
How do we know what this line is? How does such a line compare to lines like Anne Lindberg’s?
Explain that line is capable of creating shape. We immediately recognize a drawing of an apple as a picture of an apple. However, it lacks the color and texture of an apple, and is not the size of an apple. In comparison, Anne Lindberg’s lines create different kinds of more abstract forms. How?