Exhibitions

Grain of a Hand: Drawings with Graphite

  • McCormick Tribune Gallery
    Second Floor, North Side
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
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Featured images

Tony Lewis, roc an r, 2014. Pencil and graphite powder on paper; framed: 86 ¼ × 62 13/16 in. (219.1 × 159.5 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marilyn and Larry Fields, 2016.24
© 2014 Tony Lewis. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Gala Porras-Kim, Mesoamerican Negative Space 7, 2018. Graphite on paper, and epoxy resin and metal; two parts, framed: 71 13/16 × 71 ¾ in. (182.4 × 182.2 cm) and 22 ½ × 22 ¼ × 1 1/16 in. (57.2 × 56.8 × 2.7 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marshall Field’s by exchange, 2020.17.a-c
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Christian Holstad, looky over yonder, 2005. Graphite on erased newspaper; 9 × 6 in. (22.6 × 15.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Craig Robbins, and Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund, 2006.18.1
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Michelle Stuart, Turtle Pond, 1974. Earth and graphite on muslin-mounted rag paper; 96 × 62 1/8 in. (243.9 × 157.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Robert and Marlene Baumgarten, 1977.22
© 1974 Michelle Stuart. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Exhibition Description

Graphite is a familiar to many by way of the common pencil. Drawing with this carbon-based substance is typically considered a way to quickly sketch out ideas before moving to the more permanent medium of pen and ink. The artists exhibited in Grain of a Hand: Drawings with Graphite challenge these traditional ideas by utilizing graphite in radical and unexpected ways. In the exhibition, graphite becomes a pigment to be lightly dusted on a print, a block of material to sculpt, or a memory to trace. In two rotations of artworks over the course of the exhibition, artists explore this humble material as a way to trace bodies, memories, and spaces—pushing graphite off the page in order to redefine drawing itself.

The exhibition is organized by Isabel Casso, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. It is presented in the McCormick Tribune Gallery on the museum’s second floor.

Artists

ARTISTS IN THIS EXHIBITION