Christine Hiebert’s drawings, now on exhibit at her solo show “Space for Mark,” are deceivingly-calm monochromatic arrangements. Walking through the space at Gallery Joe, Hiebert’s drawings read as non-confrontational and quiet, but always energetic. Close examination reveals the vigor contained within every mark- some fluid and some trembling. The series of process-based drawings focuses on the variety of marks that imply specific actions; the body of work is essentially about movement. There is a subtle variation in mark and material among the works that creates a sensitive juxtaposition in texture and form.
Some surfaces, such as Untitled (rdl.12.21), have been altered and roughened by sanding or heavy erasure. The materials used in the work include charcoal, graphite, and printmaking ink. The variety of direct mark making and transfer monotype with these materials creates a playful variation in shade, texture and line quality. One drawing in particular, Untitled (sc.12.20), lists “dirt” as a medium and looks as though it has been subjected to a variety of mark-making torture, most apparent in the stains of tire tracks. There is violence to these marks and their implied action as they move through space.
Untitled (sc.12.20) occupies the back room in the exhibition space (the vault) along with Hiebert’s larger compositions. These four drawings hang unframed and seem as though they want to grow beyond the confines of their picture space. Untitled (rdl.12.18) hangs 130 inches tall on the back wall and looks down upon the viewer and wide marks resembling tracks or trails inhabit the picture space with a quiet boldness. The works in the front part of the gallery hang in fragile contrast to the unframed works in the vault.
The tangled lines of Untitled (sc.12.2 ) build forms that are poetically reminiscent of natural forms. The ambiguous composition is delicate but childlike. The most successful of these works, however, can be found in those with the most range in mark making and value. Untitled (rdl.12.21) is the most effective of these and it creates a depth of picture space through variation of deep blacks and soft shades, fine lines and bold marks. The drawing moves off the page, as though it is trying to grow beyond its paper environment. Untitled (rd.13.7) has a similar mark making pattern but these small, peculiar shapes and lines appear to be blown over the picture plane with a gracefulness that contrasts strongly with the other works.
Christine Hiebert’s exhibition “Space for Mark” is a collection of living and moving drawings and she explores the personality and unique nature of each mark as it inhabits the two-dimensional space. Hiebert’s work creates a platform for the examination of the character of line and form and tells the ever-changing story of these essential elements.
“Space for Mark” is on display at Gallery Joe until April 27.