Recent Works on Paper 1999–2002
521 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—A selection of recent drawings and collages by Michael Hurson will be on view at Paula Cooper Gallery, 521 West 21st Street, from September 3 through October 12, 2002. All realized between 1999 and 2002, the works on paper comprise a series of variations on the theme of fishing lures, a suite of studies inspired by Georges Seurat’s famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-86), and several additional drawings of the artist and his surroundings.
A seemingly eclectic collection, these drawings were all created during Hurson’s recent sojourns in Indiana, Tuscany and New York, and in reaction to ongoing events, both personal and political. While epitomizing the combination of virtuosity and casual charm for which Hurson’s draughtmanship has often been praised, they also take on a somewhat contemplative cast. “People would find it hard to believe but a great deal of my work, if not politically motivated, is actually made from a cognizant reflection about the very times I live in,” notes Hurson.
With the “fishing lures” drawings, Hurson returns to collage, an important element of his 1999 show here. Broken toothpicks are offhandedly assembled over brightly colored paper to suggest animal limbs. The studies of Seurat’s Grande Jatte painting make up a suite of seven drawings, underscoring the masterpiece’s stunning harmony of composition in an almost musical variation of mood and scale. In Calvin Reid’s words, “Hurson cheerfully but purposely points us toward an appreciation of the ambient, often improvisational nature of the creative process.” The drawings on view bear witness to his continued skill and inspiration.
Michael Hurson’s work has been exhibited nationally since the 1970s, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. He was the recipient of a NEA Fellowship Grant in 1974 and 1975, the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1994 and the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in 1999. This is his ninth one-person exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery. He currently lives and works in New York.