Material Drawing

Audrey Goldstein, Julia Shepley, Michelle Samour, Debra Weisberg

Material Drawing, 2009

From Left:
Audrey Goldstein, Michelle Samour,
Debra Weisberg, Julia Shepley

Courtesy of the Artists'

March 7, 2009 — May 17, 2009

Opening Reception Saturday, March 7, 6 - 8 pm
Panel Discussion
with Material Drawing Artists, Audrey Goldstein, Michelle Samour, Julia Shepley, Debra Weisberg.
Wednesday, March 18, noon and Sunday, April 26, 3 pm

About the Exhibit

The drawing for these 4 artists begins with the material: Weisberg’s tearing of tape; Goldstein’s rubbing of oil stick; Shepley’s piercing and stitching; Samour’s handmade colored vellum.  Layering repeated forms, these 4 artists use a single structure in repetition to create the drawing. The physical manipulation of material can be a passage into illusion, both literally as in the case of Julia Shepley’s layered Lexan and glass drawing, and illusionistically as in the atmospheric layering in the work of Audrey Goldstein. The handling of material, in these constructed drawings, reveals layers of thought and engages the viewer directly and viscerally with the drawing process.

24 page exhibition catalog with essay by curator Katherine French available for purchase in the Museum Shop

›› View exhibition essay by curator Katherine French

About the Artists

Audrey Goldstein, Michelle Samour, Julia Shepley, Debra Weisberg

Audrey Goldstein, Point-to-Point #3, 2008

Audrey Goldstein
is a sculptor whose work has been frequently exhibited in Boston. Recently she participated in the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn NY.  Her work has received awards from the International Association of Art Critics and the Traveling Scholars Award from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
She participated in the Traveling Scholars Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts with two major installations. She is the Fine Arts Program Director at the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University.

Point-to-Point #3, 2008
brass, wood, ink
10.5" x 14" x 9.5"
Courtesy of the Artist

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Michelle Samour, Bundle (detail #1), 2008

Michelle Samour was a 2003 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship winner in Crafts and finalist (’99,’00,’01,’07), a Society of Arts and Crafts New England Artist Award winner in 2004, and has received grants to study papermaking in Japan and France. She has been featured in Handpapermaking Magazine and Fiberarts. Exhibitions include The Kohler Art Center, The Rose Art Museum, the Decordova Museum, and Fuller Craft Museum. Her work is in numerous collections including Meditech Corporation, the Decordova Museum and International Paper headquarters in New York.

                  Bundle (detail #2), 2008
                  pigmented handmade paper/vellum, gouache
                  24" Diameter
                  Courtesy of the Artist

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Julia Shepley, Mining the Storm #1, 2008

Julia Shepley was born in Boston and grew up in Marshfield MA and Sierra Leone WA. She has received NEFA and MCC grants in sculpture, her work is included in public and private collections including the Rose Art Museum and The DeCordova Museum, she has exhibited nationally and internationally, and is represented by the Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston MA. She works out of her Studio in Brickbottom Artist Studios, Somerville MA.

               Mining the Storm #1, 2008
               etched glass, carved wood, and plaster, oil paint
               9" x 12" x 2"
               Courtesy of the Artist

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Debra Weisberg, #3 (night view), 2008

Debra Weisberg was a 2008 Mass Cultural Council artist fellowship winner in Drawing and was a Somerville Arts Lottery winner in 2008, 2004 and 2001. She twice attended the MacDowell Colony and was recently granted an art residency in Can Serrat outside of Barcelona for June 2009. Her work is in numerous collections including the Sonesta Hotel, General Hardware Manufacturing Company, Simmons College and Meditech Corporation.  She has exhibited nationally: Art in General in NYC, the DeCordova Museum, Mills Gallery and Rose Museum, East Hampton Center for Contemporary
Art. Her forty-foot high installation at the DeCordova Museum entitled,‘(Sub) Surface’ won a prize for best museum installation from
the Boston Art Critics Association.

(night view), 2009
black and white archival tape, photo luminescent tape and powders on paper
9" x 5"
Courtesy of the Artist

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Connected Activity

Essay by Katherine French

Drawing is a unique experience, which each artist invents for herself.  Connected directly to the thought process, it records the initial spark; that original impulse; an intimate glimpse into how individuals see and interpret the world. Through drawing, artists become engaged in an act of personal exploration that shows their imagination at work.  No other art form is more immediate—or more revealing of intent. 

The artists featured in Material Drawing have taken the unusual step of making collaboration part of their process. For nearly two years Audrey Goldstein, Michelle Samour, Julia Shepley and Debra Weisberg have met to consider and discuss their work.  “But this is not a crit group,” states Goldstein emphatically.  “I consider it my drawing group.”  Each continues to work privately in the studio, but their work has become visually connected.  Conversation, and their engagement with material, is part of what makes this possible.

Ever since Picasso traced the outline of a centaur with his flashlight, we’ve understood light as ephemeral.  However, these artists use light to explore their materials. Goldstein’s Network Theories are created from cast shadows, and Samour’s handmade vellum depends upon translucency.   In her Nightshade series, Shepley projects light from behind a sheet of vellum that she has cut and stitched back together.  Weisberg’s layers of luminescent tape absorb light to expose a rough surface.  While we are meant to view these works as permanent objects—each are enhanced by the transitory nature of light.

These artists are aware of their surroundings, and references to the physical world are evident in the pulsing energy of Weisberg’s constructed drawing or Shepley’s abstract portraits of the human brain.  Their mutual interest in science is most easily detected in Samour’s translucent circles of handmade vellum.  Referencing the human eye, as well as the eye of a microscope, these multiple gouache drawings float throughout the gallery. The sheer virtuosity of Samour’s papermaking ability draws us into a consideration of color that goes beyond her depictions of cell clusters.  And her specific reference to the microscope forces us into a contemplation of a world we know exists, but often remains unseen.

Goldstein’s work removes us from the microscopic to consider the act of social networking in an on-line age.  Through performance work done at art openings and artist talks, she creates pieces that record relationships by knotting strands of thin wire.  Technically they might be called sculptures.  However, in looking at them one is reminded of Calder—a sculptor who referred to himself as an artist who drew in space.  Goldstein forces herself out into the world to gather information for these drawings.  Their existence allows us to explore the possibility that, despite the odds, we can somehow remain connected.        

This underlying sense of connection is intrinsic to Material Drawing, an exhibition in which both fragility and frenzied activity exist in perfect harmony.  The delicate threads of Shepley’s memory can be stitched back into place, and sit comfortably next to the erupting surface a Weisberg drawing.  While profoundly different, all Material Drawing works lend visual support to each other—perhaps inspired by the shared act of conversation, but reinforced by a sensual love of diverse material.  And the messy, yet satisfying practice of making art.

24 page exhibition catalog with essay by curator Katherine French available for purchase in the Museum Shop

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