The Wesleyan Argus | Renee Gladman’s “The Goals of Sentences” Conceptualizes Language Via Art

c/o Dario Lasagni

“The Goals of Sentences,” a new exhibition in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery showcasing do the job by artist Renee Gladman, reconceptualizes the connection concerning crafting and visual artwork. The exhibition went up on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with a official opening held on Tuesday, Sept. 13. 

“A author and artist preoccupied with crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they perform out at the intersections of poetry, prose, drawing, and architecture,” reads the screen in the Zilkha Gallery, describing Gladman. 

It was the phrase “preoccupied” that stayed with me as I seen the operate on display screen, “The Goals of Sentences.” It appeared like it have to describe the state of the artist, absorbed by recording each individual assumed.

At the exhibition’s opening, a group of Wesleyan students and neighborhood associates perused the artwork right before Affiliate Director of Visible Arts Benjamin Chaffee, curator of the exhibition, released Gladman. Chaffee highlighted Gladman as a community artist who included importance to the Zilkha Gallery as the web-site of her to start with solo exhibition. The University had considered including Gladman’s perform in an exhibition very last fall which featured function from a range of artists, but as an alternative decided to curate this solo show as component of the context-setting up which Chaffee considers vital to the work of a curator. But, Chaffee famous, Gladman’s get the job done doesn’t require any exterior context to be impactful.

“The [only] context it requirements is by itself,” Chaffee stated. 

1 of the things that most defines Gladman’s get the job done is the way that she relates composed language and visual artwork, the latter of which she describes as “language with its skin pulled back.”

The title alludes to the fact that the exhibition includes both visual and published do the job, referencing previously released textbooks with likewise evocative names, these types of as “A single Very long Black Sentence” and “Designs for Sentences.” Even the deal with of the exhibition handout, which would commonly function a photograph of the exhibition, is in its place a sample of Gladman’s producing. The preferred piece synthesizes how Gladman relates language and visual artwork, and finds in each a implies for conceptualizing and the other.

“I spent a extended time searching into each individual of the acts of how I’d been in the planet, how I’d conveyed that I’d been there” Gladman wrote in a 2018 piece in e-flux Journal, identifying the vital steps of observing, looking through, producing, and drawing in her everyday living.

Whilst there may be some evaluate of interchange amongst Gladman’s artwork and writing, to assign Gladman’s artwork the easy cliché that a photo is well worth a thousand phrases is to skip the stage. She does not attract a scene in which a narrative is clear and familiar. Alternatively, she breaks her stories down into their most essential components—lines, designs, color, symbols—that are narrative at its most fragmented. It appears that Gladman is mapping the development of tips and course of action of wondering: how we ourselves make a craft of language and art to position ourselves into time and house. 

Chaffee considers the link Gladman makes between artwork and creating to be a grounded, clean acquire on drawing, the variety he is generally hunting to symbolize at the Zilkha Gallery. For Chaffee, representing this spatially is integral to the exhibition. Chaffee’s focus is on balancing the composed facets of Gladman’s get the job done with the visual ones, while preventing any hierarchy between them. He hopes the audience would see the artwork rather than just read it. Chaffee distinguishes among the various means of absorbing art, bringing the audience’s gaze down to the excerpts from Gladman’s guides and journals flat on display screen, and then up to the artwork on the walls as they shift through the exhibition. In Chaffee’s intention of bringing context to the work, Gladman’s journals are perhaps the most very important, illuminating her system, which includes descriptions of her working day identifying specifically when she is moved to make. 

Gladman’s visible works tumble into the types of “Cities,” “Scores and Maths,” “Moons and the Planetary,” and “Charts,” as outlined on her websiteEvery single emphasizes a certain high-quality of her work, from text and lines in the form of a skyline, demonstrating the architectural character of language and believed, to vibrant circles on black paper symbolizing the ways in which language spots us into place and conceptualizes existence.

Potentially most intriguing to me have been the pieces that would be regarded “Scores and Maths,” which are involved with angles, instructions, and scattered symbols of dy/dx whose placement on the canvas were as erratic as they surface in my have calculus homework, trailing off to the facet as I assume through the act of writing, strategies unorganized but effective on my web page.

c/o Dario Lasagni

In Gladman’s opening speech, she emphasized seeking her viewers to contemplate the title of her exhibition as they considered her function. What is the dream of a sentence? Perhaps we need to think about the word “dreams” in the frame of our very own unconsciousness, where our feelings exist in their most unpolished condition, translatable only as abstractly as Gladman’s operates of artwork, not still in existence but however affirming our possess.

In recognition of the interdisciplinary mother nature of Gladman’s craft, “The Goals of Sentences” exhibition is co-sponsored by Composing at Wesleyan, and Gladman is scheduled to give a examining Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Zilkha Gallery. The exhibition will operate till Oct. 16. Far more information can be identified on the web on the CFA web site or on Gladman’s personalized internet site
Sadie Grey can be reached at [email protected].