Alex Hay. Ground Drawing. (1968)

Alex Hay Ground Drawing (1968)

  • Not on view

A cofounder of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962, Hay was heavily involved in emerging performance art and avant-garde dance in the 1960s, and these interests carried over to his work in more traditional media. To create Ground Drawing the artist saturated a piece of cotton cellulose paper with liquid, then allowed it to dry over a patch of ground in Venice,California, transferring the earth’s bumps and irregularities to its surface. He then painstakingly traced each indentation, visually emphasizing the earth’s physical unevenness and indicating the precise degree of each bump’s incline. Hay’s intense focus on an anonymous patch of ground draws our attention to the intricacies of the easily overlooked and ephemeral.

Gallery label from 2007.
Additional text

To create Ground Drawing the artist saturated a piece of cotton cellulose paper with liquid then allowed it to dry over a patch of ground in Venice, California, transferring the earth’s bumps and irregularities to its surface. He then painstakingly traced each indentation with a pencil and indicated the precise degree of each incline, creating a complex pattern of lines and angles. The random means deployed to generate this drawing—a kind of map of the earth’s surface—are similar to those he used in the dance and movement-based works he performed with New York’s Judson Dance Theater from 1962 to 1964.

Gallery label from On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, November 21, 2010-February 7, 2011.
Medium
Pencil on paper
Dimensions
68 1/4 x 38" (173.4 x 96.5 cm)
Credit
Committee on Drawings Funds
Object number
784.2006
Copyright
© 2020 Alex Hay
Department
Drawings and Prints
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