SHAHEEN modern and contemporary art is delighted to announce an exhibition of
recent drawings by Charles Kanwischer. The exhibition will be Kanwischer’s first
at SHAHEEN. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Friday, June 18th
from 7-9 p.m.
The modestly scaled, labor-intensive drawings that comprise Charles Kanwischer’s first
exhibition at SHAHEEN are based on photographic source images of (what he terms)
northwest Ohio’s “exurban” landscape, a heretofore sparsely populated vista in which flat
expanses of farmland are being transformed into residential and commercial real estate at a
rapid pace. The imagery depicted in the artist’s work derives from his own photographs of
the landscape in-and-around construction sites, and images culled from real estate
advertisements and listings. Although photographic in their immediate visual appearance,
Kanwischer’s meticulously executed graphite drawings are driven by his obsessive
immersion in and commitment to the methodical processes and physical materials of his
practice. Images emerge from layer upon layer of barely-discernable, consistently applied
marks made with a graphite pencil on gessoed paper that has been mounted to wood panel.
The artist’s time consuming, labor-intensive working process and the accretion of physical
material that it produces imbues the surfaces of his drawings with a dense, nearly slab-like
quality, and creates crowded-out images that project into the viewer’s space at the same
time that they recede into illusionistic depth. Kawischer’s visual subjects – sections of
support pylons, drain pipes, and pieces of construction equipment standing like ruins in the
landscape; roads and canals under construction; and facades and interiors of newly
constructed or recently vacated homes – take on a monumental presence, reminding us not
only of the rapidly changing contemporary landscape, but also of the slow, cyclical material
and physical processes that have continuously erased, renewed and transformed the
landscape over the course of history, and which underscore the artist’s approach to the act
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Charles Kanwischer received a B.F.A. in Printmaking
from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University
School of Art. His work is included numerous museum collections, including the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Smith College Museum of Art, and
the Akron Museum of Art. Currently, Kanwischer is Associate Professor of Art at Bowling
Green State University.
SHAHEEN is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and by appointment.