José Damasceno: Observation Plan


Installation view, José Damasceno: Observation Plan, MCA Chicago, Lobby wall project, Jan 26, 2004—Jan 2, 2005 Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


Brazilian artist José Damasceno created Observation Plan, a scene depicting several figures looking at artworks, to make viewers aware of themselves looking at art. Using approximately 30,000 yellow no. 2 pencils, Damasceno comments on the idea of drawing by creating an image with objects that would normally be used to draw one. Observation Plan recalls pointillist paintings in which tiny dots of paint create a picture that is recognizable only from a distance. Damasceno has often used thousands of common objects—such as hammers, chess pieces, string, and erasers—in representations that are, like Observation Plan, hybrids of sculpture and wall drawings. He instills his art with a sense of wonder by transforming the familiar into something new.

This project is curated by Assistant Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm.