THE QUICKENING IMAGE


wax-resist drawings of david dodge lewis and ephraim rubenstein / A Twenty-Year Collaboration

 
 

The exhibition, The Quickening Image: The Wax-Resist Drawings of David Dodge Lewis and Ephraim Rubenstein / A Twenty Year Collaboration, tells several stories:


First, it is the story of a radically new drawing technique: Wax-resist drawing is a complexly layered, large-scale, multi-media technique that utilizes wax as a resist for subsequent ink and charcoal washes. It incorporates both wet and dry materials, as well as both linear and painterly elements. It derives its power from juxtaposing and resolving many contradictory tendencies: drawing/painting; wet /dry; controlled /spontaneous; planned /accidental.


The Quickening Image also tells the story of a number of historically marginalized tendencies now given center stage: It is drawing, but on the scale of, and with the impact of, painting; it is epic work, but in black and white rather than in color; it is on paper rather than canvas; and for drawings that are so animated, its subjects are often inanimate objects.


Third, it is the story of a collaboration. David Lewis was aware that the English sculptor Henry Moore used wax as a resist for ink washes in his sketchbooks to quickly develop images at a small scale. David began using paraffin wax himself in large-scale works for exhibition in the mid-1980s. By the early1990s Lewis was offering workshops in his wax-resist process, including ones at the University of Richmond, where Ephraim Rubenstein first observed it. With help from David, Ephraim spent the next twenty years adapting the process to exploit its potential for his own vision.


Finally, it tells the story of a friendship. When artists were members of guilds and often worked collectively, there was a continual transference of information, both technical and aesthetic. With the Romantic era, artists became much more isolated, and it became rarer for artists to learn from each other. In order to do so successfully, there has to be a level of mutual trust and respect that is unusual in our time. Ephraim has been continually amazed at how open and generous David has always been with his time and knowledge, and has, in turn, offered him access to professional opportunities and exposure through his colleagues and students in New York.


TO FIND OUT MORE, OR TO ARRANGE TO HOST THE EXHIBITION, CLICK HERE.

NEXT VENUE:


MAURINE LITTLETON GALLERY


1667 WISCONSIN AVENUE, NW

WASHINGTON, DC

March 24 - May 5, 2017


Closing reception for the artists on May 5