16 Dec 2016 – 22 Jan 2017

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Coustof Waxman is pleased to present GRAMMAR, a show of drawings by Drea Cofield, Esther Kläs, Linda Matalon, and Jeannie Weissglass.


“Is grammar a matter of somebody telling you not to do things that it feels natural to do?” - John McWhorter

This exhibition positions drawing as the medium closest to thought - the score and the seismograph of choices made in present time. Like drawing, grammar can be both neurological and political, with constructions above and below conscious thought. Usage is our guide here - the success of an effort rests in performance, not principles. While interesting, proper speech is always less compelling than the implicit - that magic category of things both known and unknown. By stepping into these spaces, artists grant themselves permission to simply do and repeat, creating their own independent form of language.

In Drea Cofield’s (b. 1986, Orange, CT) recent paintings and drawings, an even, dappled light reveals an expressive foliage from which impassive figures emerge, lounging, spanking, and avoiding one another with equanimity. It is a world where gesture and proximity speak volumes.

The sculptural drawings of Esther Kläs (b. 1981, Mainz, Germany) explore the relations between things, a personal arrangement of energies in space. Structures mirror and orbit each other, playing games with concepts of order.

Linda Matalon’s (b. 1958, Brooklyn, NY) works on paper have been thrown into a sublime state through scraping, rubbing, waxing, techniques seemingly borrowed from the inanimate world, a history of marks that reveals thoughts over time. As in traditional Chinese painting, forms issue from and recede into fog, a psychic landscape.

Jeannie Weissglass’s (b. 1961, Morristown, NJ) drawings reflect a kind of wilderness, containing a bestiary where humans are animals, responding to the same instincts. Figures behave, are judged, modified, and removed with vigorous energy, a process also reflected in recent hand-drawn animations where narrative is partially buried in repeated erasings.

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