Creighton Michael : Graphite


Creighton Michael : Graphite
Jun 3 – Jul 29, 2006

Robischon Gallery is pleased to present "Graphite," a sculptural installation of two works and new drawings from the "Squiggle" series by New York artist Creighton Michael. This is the gallery's third solo exhibition for the artist. Since 1985, Michael's drawing activity has led him to create sculpture whose intimacy and immediacy with the viewer is equal to that of drawing. Early in his creative process, his intuition led him from drawing with an electric saw on sheets of plywood to "drawing in space" by orchestrating steel fabricators within the skeletal construction. Michael states, "Drawing is primary, not preliminary."

This notion, that a mark is seen simultaneously as an individual unit and collectively as pattern, became the genesis for a new body of three-dimensional work. The "Squiggle" series mimics the process of drawing by focusing on the mark. Similar to the gestures employed in the creation of van Gogh's reed pen and ink landscapes, these calligraphic segments encourage exploration of the vibrant nature of patterns that reside at the intersection of drawing and writing. Like van Gogh's drawing, the "squiggle" is constructed one mark at a time, not to portray a recognizable pattern such as a specific location, but to physically contain the memory of a marking activity.

Made of various lengths and widths of cotton rope and coated with a paper pulp, graphite and an acrylic paste mixture, the marks capture the intimacy associated with traditional drawing yet are actually dimensional drawings. The visual as well as metaphorical relationship to drawing is further enhanced by the use of white marks as erasure and tonal segments as ghostlines, which survive after erasure. Unlike drawing, which characteristically records a moment, action or image in time, Squiggle assumes the transitory nature of installation.

Creighton Michael received a B.A. from the University of Tennessee, an M.A. in art history from Vanderbuilt University and an M.F.A. in painting from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Michael has exhibited in numerous galleries in the United States and Europe and his work can be found in the Denver Art Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Mint Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, among others.