Teorema Drawings at Cara y Cabezas Contemporary, Kansas City
Cara y Cabezas Contemporary, Kansas City, Missouri, March 25 - May 7, 2011
Imagine drawing a teorema. A provisional observation. What do you see in the fire and in the plume? Contemplate the probability that any hypothesis about the world's end is incorrect, add to this a desire to draw lines on the skin of your lover. Make a black paste, thin it. Apply a brush with a narrow ferrule.
The above text is from McPhee's own poetic writings about the new body of drawings she began creating in December 2009. The root of the word, Teorema (the Italian word for theorem), means both spectacle, and intuition, suggesting that to theorize one considers both reason and gut feeling. McPhee employs both internal mechanisms in the creation of her works. Spectacle (political and personal) fuels the process while Intuition guides the mark. A drawing entitled raining oil makes direct reference to the Deep Horizon oil spill in both its title and its visual indicators of black plume-like forms. The more ambiguously titled limekiln it was an accidentpresents strata of wispy glyphs. It is a cyclone of fugue-like structures, at once stable and slippery. Composed of multiple layers, the Teorema Drawings ask to be meditated upon, beg to be lost in.
In congruence with McPhee's previous work, the compositions of many of the Teorema Drawings reference a kind of topography, perhaps that of our emotions and consciousness. The oscillating lines in the Teorema Drawings mimic the markings of a heart monitor or a seismograph. As such instruments exist to record data, so too does McPhee's mark strive to trace evidence or a memory. The movement of the artist's pencil across the paper is a simultaneous action of release and capture. In contrast, large spills of ink, such as the fuchsia inviolated a security system, break up the tight repetition of the mark-making and add an element of the unexpected to the Teorema.
- Cara Megan Lewis