The versatility of one medium will be on display, beginning Saturday, at the School 33 Art Center.
Declaring Space: Recent Drawings by Baltimore Artists, part of the city's annual Artscape celebration, is a group show that features disparate drawing styles, techniques and subject matter.
Each artist's body of work is different, from gestural figure compositions to sketches of graphic forms, but all of the pieces give the viewer a glimpse into the creative processes behind the drawing.
"It's more about the process of working than about the content. This is the one medium that liberates new ideas in ways of working for an artist," said curator Peter Dubeau. "You can think through things when you're working on a drawing. This lends itself to expressing yourself right away."
The stylistically different works in Declaring Space also vary in how they convey the immediacy of expression.
Some show an energetic penchant for repetition that verges on obsession, while others exhibit an artist's stream-of-consciousness mode of labor.
In Kay Hwang's acrylic pencil works, the artist uses the paper space to construct bundles of identical forms that effect both vigorous and refined tones. Hwang's Schematics #17 is made up of dozens of modular forms, each constructed with graphic precision, like that of a didactic medical illustration.
But the conical structures' bright crimson hue seem more fit for the subject in an expressionist painting. In addition, the unruly grouping gives the cluster a dynamic energy that belies its graphic foundations.
Ann Rentschler's works share the same dynamism, though they are created through an entirely different process. Dubeau said the artist's creations are the final product of her physical and emotional response to the lines she draws on paper.
"As she works, she sort of reacts to what she has put down. It's then a reaction to a reaction," he said.
Her large-scale works, he said, are "a lot of the 'sum of its parts' work" in which delicate lines share the paper with clusters of lines that make up large masses.
Hwang and Rentschler's works, along with drawings from five other artists, will be on display through Aug. 16.
A gallery talk will take place at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, with a reception to follow.
School 33 Art Center is at 1427 Light St. For more information, call 410-396-4641 or visit www.school33.org.
For more art events, see page 43.