An investigation of conceptual artist Hanne Darboven’s artistic practice and her highly personal mark-making as a form of marking time on paper
Hanne Darboven (1941–2009) is best known for her immersive installations of individually framed sheets filled with written formulations and collaged images. Approaching Darboven’s life and work through the lens of drawing, this succinct survey is organized around three watershed moments in the artist’s practice. It begins with examples of Darboven’s Konstruction drawings—abstract works based in transversal and mirroring strategies—made during her two-year stay in New York in the late 1960s. The next section maps how Darboven adapted her drawing practice into formulas that calculate specific dates and durations into a single number, which the artist represented as anything from a series of calligraphic lines to a set of consecutively drawn boxes. The book concludes with a close look at Inventions that Have Changed Our World, an installation from 1996 that documents each day of the twentieth century according to Darboven’s formulas and assigns an inventor, ranging from Johannes Gutenberg to the Wright brothers, to represent each of the century’s ten decades. This engaging overview highlights how Darboven's work offers a deeply idiosyncratic accounting of art and life that challenges time as a linear and objective measure.
Distributed for the Menil Collection
The Menil Collection, Houston (October 29, 2023–February 11, 2024)
Kelly Montana is assistant curator at Menil Drawing Institute at the Menil Collection. Dieter Schwarz is an art historian and the former director of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur.
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