Located at the southern end of SoHo, The Drawing Center is a non-profit gallery/museum devoted to the medium of drawing — both historical and contemporary. Since its founding in 1977, The Drawing Center has spotlighted drawing connected with science, literature, architecture and political movements. There are also lectures, gallery talks, family workshops and literary programs that enhance the exhibitions. Like the Chelsea galleries, The Drawing Center gives you an opportunity to see the work from both new artists and older masters in an intimate setting.
There are two very different shows on view at The Drawing Center right now — both worth visiting. In the main gallery is “Portraits from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris.” The exhibition explores four hundred years of portrait drawings, emphasizing work from live models. Forty portraits have been chosen from the Beaux-Arts de Paris’ collection based on “diverse criteria such as the male and female gestures, caricature, frontal gaze, social class, and profession of the model.” The portraits range from seventeenth-century to the present and include never-before-exhibited drawings by nineteenth-century artists Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Charles Garnier to the work of modern and contemporary artists like Henri Matisse and Georg Baselitz.
In the lower level gallery is a completely different kind of drawing exhibit – “Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm.” Frank, a 35-year-old, contemporary artist, has brought to life the “unsanitized” versions of the fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Using bold colors in gouache and pastel, Frank focuses on the dynamics between flesh and spirit. According to the artist, she is exploring, “the parallel poles of longing and desire but also disgust and fascination that constitute humanity.” From afar, the scenes are both alluring and grotesque. Up close, you can appreciate the richness in detail and will be drawn in by the energy emanating from the colors.
Both shows will be on view through June 28th.