EXHIBITS - FIGURATION NINETEEN DRAWINGS AND ONE BRONZE BY ARLENE DIEHL

 

FIGURATION

Nineteen drawings and one bronze by ARLENE DIEHL

June 24 to July 24, 2006

 
"My work has evolved from a lifelong love for, fascination with, and sense of reverence for the human form.

I have also been deeply committed over the years to the process of drawing, finding in it time and again an emotional and visceral immediacy that has served my deeper purposes.

I am working now exclusively with live models and with a great deal of speed. I like working with a living, breathing human being because, by definition, the subject is not a static one but a dynamic one, moment by moment in a process of change. My aim is to transmit something of the power of that dynamism to the viewer. When successful, I liken the experience to going on a somewhat frightening roller coaster ride and arriving breathless and amazed at where that ride has taken me. The process requires of me a very deep letting off of the brakes of any preconceived notions I may have had for the drawing. By responding freshly to a particular moment the work can move in a very abstract direction or in a decidedly representational one. Often my best work includes elements of both.

Working with quick poses helps me respond strongly to overall movement and to focus quickly and cleanly on one or two elements of the particular pose that really speak to me. Those elements can include strong abstract shapes or lines, light play on the body, areas of frenetic line work, drawing the negative space and emotionally evocative details of the body (the vulnerability of an exposed throat, the anxious clench of a hand, the heaviness of a bowed head, the playful twist of a back, the directness of a gaze). Leaving other elements out creates a sense of mystery and leaves space for the viewer to enter into the drawing and participate in it. I like the "presence" that the empty spaces have in my work and I like to use the mat to further extend that space.

All of these drawings are done in charcoal on acid-free paper, and are matted with and/or mounted on archival board."

Arlene Diehl, 2006.