Wattis Institute

Painting Between The Lines

04 Oct - 17 Dec 2011

© Fred Tomaselli
Study for Night Music for Raptors, 2010
Collage and resin on panel
Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery New York/Shanghai
4 October – 17 December, 2011

With Painting Between The Lines, the CCA Wattis Institute will continue its investigation into the relationship between literature and art by commissioning 14 contemporary artists to create paintings based on descriptions of paintings in historical and contemporary novels.

Artists include:

Laylah Ali
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Michaël Borremans
Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

Marcel Dzama
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Cecilia Edefalk
August Strindberg, The Red Room

Jordan Kantor
Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom

Michael van Ofen
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Laura Owens
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Clare Rojas
Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

Wilhelm Sasnal
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Maaike Schoorel
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Raqib Shaw
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Norbert Schwontkowski
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Fred Tomaselli
Samuel Beckett, Watt

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
Sándor Márai, Embers

Through an examination of how contemporary artists look at storytelling, literature and writing as expressions of individual thought, Painting Between The Lines looks into the state of contemporary painting today and attests to the vitality of the medium, presenting some of its most innovative practitioners. The artists in the exhibition work across a number of different forms and styles and are primarily based in Europe and the United States.

Even though writing and painting have been connected throughout history, literature has of late become a diminished subject in the medium of painting, which has looked more to history, society, politics and itself for inspiration. Through reintroducing literature as a viable subject for painting, this exhibition looks at the relationship between these two artistic fields, their different modes of representation, the various ways text can be translated into image, and how they both, in unique ways, have the ability to elicit a response from those who engage with them.

The choice of the novels has been central to the commissioning process. Many of these imagined paintings have been envisaged in exhaustive detail, they inform the texture of the novels and provide background details, while others play a pivotal role in plot or character development. However, while the descriptions of these paintings may be vivid, they remain open to interpretation in their physical form by the artists.

Tags: Laylah Ali, Michaël Borremans, Marcel Dzama, Cecilia Edefalk, Jordan Kantor, Michael van Ofen, Laura Owens, Clare Rojas, Wilhelm Sasnal, Maaike Schoorel, Norbert Schwontkowski, Raqib Shaw, Fred Tomaselli, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski