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Drawing Connections

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American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square

New York, NY 10023

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Join us for a special evening of curators in conversation and an artist-led participatory drawing experience, inspired by the works on paper featured in the exhibition Memory Palaces: Inside the Collection of Audrey B. Heckler.

Exhibition curator Valérie Rousseau and Laura Hoptman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, will discuss working with drawings and the self-taught artists featured in both Memory Palaces and The Drawing Center’s concurrent exhibition The Pencil Is a Key: Drawings by Incarcerated Artists. Following their conversation, exhibition artist George Widener will share his interest in The Magic Square and facilitate a hands-on drawing exercise based on its visual and mathematical principles.

Laura Hoptman is the Executive Director of The Drawing Center in New York.

Valérie Rousseau is Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut at the American Folk Art Museum. Since 2013, she has curated exhibitions on artists from various countries, including the AAMC Award–winning When the Curtain Never Comes Down on performance art (2015); Once Something Has Lived It Can Never Really Die on Ronald Lockett, Melvin Way, Native American effigies, and Brazilian ex-votos (2016); Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (2015); and shows on Bill Traylor (2013) and William Van Genk (2014). The Director of Société des arts indisciplinés, Montreal, from 2001 to 2007, Rousseau built an archive on art practices emerging outside the art mainstream and organized exhibitions, notably Richard Greaves: Anarchitect (2005–2007). Rousseau holds a PhD in art history and an MA in art theory, both from Université du Québec à Montréal, as well as an MA in anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She is the author of the essays “Visionary Architectures” (The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 2013), “Revealing Art Brut” (Culture & Musées, 2010), and Vestiges de l’indiscipline (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2007).

George Widener was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. A self-taught artist and calendar savant, Widener creates mixed-media works on paper that give aesthetic, visible form to complex calculations based on dates and historical events—the sinking of the Titanic being one of his favorites. The artist often uses found paper, or a support composed of layers of tea-stained paper napkins. His drawings feature simple palettes, sophisticated patterning, and bold compositions of dates and imagery that transcend centuries of time and the history of art. Widener, who sometimes likens himself to a “time traveler,” has been highly visible in the contemporary art arena and has had significant film and media exposure. On October, 2012, Nova Science aired “How Smart Can We Get?” featuring a segment on Widener. He was also profiled in “Ingenious Minds: George Widener,” the last episode of a six-part series of films focusing on savants and geniuses—which aired on the Discovery Science Channel in March, 2011. The artist is also a subject in the 2007 documentary film “My Brilliant Brain: Accidental Genius.” Widener’s work has been extensively exhibited worldwide and is in many international private collections and museum collections, including the American Folk Art Museum, the ABCD Art Brut Collection in Paris, The Museum of Everything in London, the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands, and the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Image (detail): Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930, Bern, Switzerland), Untitled, 1918, Graphite, crayon, and colored pencil on paper, 19 1/2 x 27 in. Collection of Audrey B. Heckler. Photography © Visko Hatfield, courtesy of the Foundation to Promote Self Taught Art and Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

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American Folk Art Museum

2 Lincoln Square

New York, NY 10023

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Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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