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The Drawing Center 35 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013 Tel: 212-219-2166 Fax: 212-966-2976

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEWS RELEASE


For further information, please contact
Rebecca Herman (212) 219-2166, ext. 114
rherman@drawingcenter.org

THE DRAWING CENTER ANNOUNCES


3 x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing
by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin
INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO ABSTRACTION AND DRAWING, SPANNING THE LAST CENTURY

March 19 – May 21, 2005


Opening Reception Friday, March 18, 6–8 pm

New York—From March 19 to May 21, 2005, The Drawing Center will
present 3 x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz,
and Agnes Martin, co-curated by Catherine de Zegher, Director of The
Drawing Center, and Hendel Teicher, independent curator. 3 x Abstraction
is a major exhibition of stunning and rarely-seen work by three artists who
pioneered the development of modern abstraction: Hilma af Klint (Sweden,
1862–1944), Emma Kunz (Switzerland, 1892–1963), and Agnes Martin Hilma af Klint, Atom Series,
No. 5, 1917. Watercolor on
(Canada/U.S. 1912–2004). paper, 10 5/8 x 9 13/16 in.

Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin represent three generations
of women artists who pursued nontraditional paths in visualizing thought
through geometric abstraction. Using line, geometry, and the grid, af Klint,
Kunz, and Martin developed artistic means for expressing, diagramming,
and understanding philosophical, scientific, and transcendental ideas.

Emma Kunz, Work No. 020.


3 x Abstraction will introduce the artistic contributions of af Klint and Kunz Pencil, colored pencil, and oil
pastel on paper, 31 x 31 in.
and re-visit the work of Martin from a new perspective. The drawings will
be presented within the context of recent research on the writings and
approaches of the three artists. The inspirational works in 3 x Abstraction
will also bring into focus the role of modern and contemporary art in
representing complex ideas. As a complement to this exhibition, The
Drawing Center’s Drawing Room will feature linear drawings by the under-
recognized Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990), whose abstract
works reflect a different experience of modernity. Agnes Martin, Aspiration,
1960. Pen and black ink on
paper, 11 11/16 x 9 3/8 in.
The Drawing Center 35 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013 Tel: 212-219-2166 Fax: 212-966-2976

ABOUT THE ARTISTS


Hilma af Klint (Sweden, 1862–1944) painted landscapes and portraits to earn her living. However,
through her work with a group of women artists known as “The Five,” af Klint created experimental
“automatic drawings” as early as 1896, inspiring her to turn to abstraction. During this period her
work synchronizes with early abstract artists such as Malevich, Mondrian, and Kandinsky. Like these
artists, she was inspired by theosophy and science. Af Klint was influenced by Rudolf Steiner’s idea
that forms and colors could represent invisible forces. Later, she developed more introverted studies
of her spiritual experiences. Af Klint created more than 1,000 works that she stipulated be withheld
from the public for 20 years after her death. A majority of the works by Hilma af Klint in
3 x Abstraction have never before been seen in the U.S. The Drawing Center’s exhibition will feature
49 of her stunning geometric compositions and sketchbooks from 1895-1920.

Emma Kunz (Switzerland, 1892–1963) was a powerful healer and an artist who created hundreds of
drawings—two practices which were inextricably linked. In 1910, she began to make her first
drawings and to experiment with telepathy, healing, and divining with a pendulum. Kunz had no
formal art training, but from 1923–39 was housekeeper for the painter and art critic Jacob Friedrich
Welti. Beginning in 1938, Kunz created a series of complex drawings made on graph paper. Kunz
utilized a pendulum to plan the structure of her drawings and completed each work in one
continuous session. She considered her drawings to be images of energy fields from which she
would formulate diagnoses for her patients. In her book “New Methods of Drawing” she declares
with prescience, “My pictures are for the twenty-first century.” Among the few previous exhibitions
of Kunz’s work are: The Case of Emma Kunz, Aargauer Kunsthaus (1973); L’Autre, curated by Harald
Szeemann for the 1997 Lyon Biennial; and Steiner.Beuys.Belyj.Kunz at the Kunsthaus Zürich (1999).
3 x Abstraction will present 15 of Kunz’s mesmerizing large-scale drawings.

Agnes Martin (Canada/U.S., 1912–2004) was born on a farm in Saskatchewan and came to the
U.S. in 1952. In the late 1940s and the 1950s, Martin became interested in Asian philosophies,
reading the Japanese scholar D. T. Suzuki and the Taoist philosophers Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzo.
Although Martin has never actively practiced non-Western spiritual disciplines, she has drawn from
their ideas. Additionally, a strong infusion of Emersonian transcendentalism and Calvinist
predestination is evident in Martin’s published conversations and writings. Her meditative grid
drawings can be seen as representing a mental space that strives towards an impossible perfection. 3
x Abstraction will include 30 of Martin’s works from 1960–65 and will be the first public presentation
of several of the artist’s early drawings from 1960.
The Drawing Center 35 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013 Tel: 212-219-2166 Fax: 212-966-2976

EXHIBITION CATALOG
The 3 x Abstraction exhibition catalog will present new scholarship on the philosophies, writings and
art practices of Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz and Agnes Martin. The 225-page, fully- illustrated
catalog will include essays by the following scholars, curators, and writers: Catherine de Zegher,
Bracha L. Ettinger, Briony Fer, Elizabeth Finch, Birgit Pelzer, Griselda Pollock, Hendel Teicher, and
Kathryn A. Tuma. To highlight the connections between the exhibition and the work of
contemporary artists, the catalog will feature short writings by Adam Fuss, Susan Klein, Richard
Tuttle, Cecilia Vicuña, and Terry Winters about an artist in 3 x Abstraction whose work they find
inspirational. The publication will be available in March 2005 and will sell for $50.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS
On Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 PM, The Drawing Center will present “The Abstract Response,” a
Panel Discussion on 3 x Abstraction, moderated by Griselda Pollock, Professor of Social and
Critical Histories of Art, University of Leeds. Panelists are: Bracha L. Ettinger, artist, psychoanalyst,
and feminist theorist; Guido Magnaguagno, Director, Tinguely Museum, Basel; and Birgit Pelzer, art
historian and critic. Admission is free.

On Saturday, April 2 at 4 PM, The Drawing Center will offer a free Gallery Talk on the exhibition
with Gustav af Klint, Director, Hilma af Klint Foundation; Hendel Teicher, Co-Curator, 3 x
Abstraction; and Kathryn Tuma, Associate Curator of Historical Exhibitions, The Drawing Center.
Line Reading, The Drawing Center’s literary series curated by Lytle Shaw, will feature readings by
Laura Elrick and Susan Howe on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 PM. Admission is $5, free for members.

TOUR VENUES
The Drawing Center will travel 3 x Abstraction to the Santa Monica Museum of Art from June 10 – August
13, 2005 and to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin from January 24 – March 26, 2006.

CREDITS
3 x Abstraction is made possible with major support from Altria Group, Inc. and with public funds from the
New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional support was provided by The Barbro Osher
Pro Suecia Foundation, The Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, Pro Helvetia Arts Council of
Switzerland, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, The Consulate General of Sweden, The Richard
Florsheim Art Fund, and The Earle I. Mack Foundation, Inc. Additional support for the publication was
provided by The Getty Grant Program and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.

The Drawing Center is the only not-for-profit U.S. museum to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings,
both historical and contemporary. It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and
under-recognized artists; to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history; and to
stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture.

The Drawing Center’s Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10-6; Saturday, 11-6; Closed Sundays and Mondays.
The Drawing Center is wheelchair accessible.
www.drawingcenter.org
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