Painting Between the Lines
CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts
October 4 - December 17, 2011

Curated by Jana Blankenship and Jens Hoffmann

Exhibition Press Release:

With Painting Between The Lines, the CCA Wattis Institute will continue its investigation into the relationship between literature and art by commissioning 14 contemporary artists to create paintings based on descriptions of paintings in historical and contemporary novels.

Through an examination of how contemporary artists look at storytelling, literature and writing as expressions of individual thought, Painting Between The Lines looks into the state of contemporary painting today and attests to the vitality of the medium, presenting some of its most innovative practitioners. The artists in the exhibition work across a number of different forms and styles and are primarily based in Europe and the United States.

Even though writing and painting have been connected throughout history, literature has of late become a diminished subject in the medium of painting, which has looked more to history, society, politics and itself for inspiration. Through reintroducing literature as a viable subject for painting, this exhibition looks at the relationship between these two artistic fields, their different modes of representation, the various ways text can be translated into image, and how they both, in unique ways, have the ability to elicit a response from those who engage with them.

The choice of the novels has been central to the commissioning process. Many of these imagined paintings have been envisaged in exhaustive detail, they inform the texture of the novels and provide background details, while others play a pivotal role in plot or character development. However, while the descriptions of these paintings may be vivid, they remain open to interpretation in their physical form by the artists.

Artists: Laylah Ali, Michaƫl Borremans, Marcel Dzama, Cecilia Edefalk, Jordan Kantor, Michael van Ofen, Laura Owens, Clare Rojas, Wilhelm Sasnal, Maake Schoorel, Raqib Shaw, Norbert Schwontkowski, Fred Tomaselli, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski

Exhibition Link
Second Venue: Williams College Museum of Art (2013)