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Pat Pickett
The Effect of Wind on Trees


June 26 - July 25, 2003


Andrew Roth is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of 30 graphite and ink drawings by the Los Angeles–based artist Pat Pickett.

In her first solo exhibition in New York, Pickett presents a hypnotizing group of new drawings created by the movement of wind through trees. Simply put, she strategically places blue hand-painted wooden panels (measuring between 8 by 10 inches and 20 by 30 inches) beneath the branch of a tree to which she has attached a writing instrument. The intensity of the wind passing through the tree activates the writing tool, in turn marking the surface of the panel, involuntarily creating the drawing. Each drawing exhibits distinct stroke marks with great variety in direction, line thickness, and rhythmic pattern.

These images — ready-mades of sorts — may be likened to 19th-century photographic “nature drawings” that trace the silhouettes of natural forms: leaves, flowers, ferns. Similar to the exposure time necessary for a precise light impression from nature, Pickett’s images are documented on the back with the length of time of exposure to the wind. As well, she includes detailed information regarding the wind’s velocity, the tree type, its exact location, date, and the specific weather conditions. For example: Yellow Paloverde – 2 hours – moderate gale 30-37 mph. Between the I-10 and the Union Pacific Line, and the wind farms. May 4, 2003; or Screw Bean Mesquite – 2 hours – diminishing breeze but with gusts to 10 knots. Dos Palmas Oasis (between the Salton Sea and the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range) April 17, 2003.

These seismographic line abstractions, reminiscent of Twombly’s scribbles, are, in a sense, merely channeled through the artist who has methodically set up the elements of her experiments letting nature take its course. As in the work of Adam Fuss, the image is a record of an activity: the track left by a snake passing through powder, light passing through smoke. To create these evocative drawings, Pickett has replaced light with wind and stepped aside.