Something Along Those Lines   

September 13–November 3, 2012
Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery
Press inquiries, contact Brooke Daniels

In the fall of 1971, SMFA hosted Sol LeWitt as a visiting artist and lecturer. Not a fan of public speaking, LeWitt instead invited students to work with him on a new piece, Wall Drawing #118, comprised of "fifty randomly placed points all connected by straight lines," his first wall drawing in Boston. Wall Drawing #118 was drafted and installed again this fall by SMFA students, serving as the catalyst for "Something Along Those Lines," a dynamic group exhibition which brings together artists who combine conceptual, sculptural and performative engagements with the formal elements of drawing.

On view September 13–November 3, 2012, this exhibition features work by international modern and contemporary artists Adel Abdessemed, Ann Carlson + Mary Ellen Strom, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gego, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Fred Sandback and Lawrence Weiner.

"Something Along Those Lines" connects the art historical legacy of SMFA with conceptual engagements in drawing from the last 40 years, each with distinct social, political and formal contexts. Featuring works in video, installation, sculpture, performance and multiple forms of wall drawing, the exhibition underlines the role of concept in the formation of content and form.

Related Events:
"Mnemonic" performance by Katrina Chamberlin
Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26
Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to receive a permanent tattoo of a small black dot on the location of their choosing. First performed at MCA Chicago in 2011, the piece will function as a performative response to Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #118: Fifty random points all connected by straight lines.

All appointments for this performance are now booked. 
Special thanks to Suze and Hourglass Tattoo Inc., Cambridge, MA.


Adel Abdessemed (b. 1971, Constantine, Algeria) works across a wide range of media, including drawing, video, photography, performance and sculpture. A major survey of the artist's work will be on view at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (September 2012–January 2013). Other notable museum shows include a special presentation at the Musée d'Unterlinden in Colmar, France, displaying Abdessemed's Décor (2011–2012), four life-size razor wire sculptures of the cruci?ed Jesus, next to German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald's Crucifixion (2012); Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London; Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto (both 2010); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2009); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; San Francisco Art Institute (both 2008); MoMA P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY (2007) and Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva (2004). Abdessemed is based in Paris and is represented by David Zwirner in New York and London.

Ann Carlson (b. 1954, Park Ridge, Illinois) is a choreographer and Mary Ellen Strom (b. 1955, Butte, Montana) is a video artist. Carlson and Strom's collaborative projects iterate on their subjects using the language and history of visual and performing arts. The disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture and dance are the bedrock languages from which the work speaks. These languages are used to generate an embodied understanding of place and culture using movement, visual signs and metaphors. The work is committed to a collaborative method that engages in democratic processes with non-artists. The work of Carlson/Strom has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2002); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2010); the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2010); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2012); deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2009), the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona (2010), Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago (2010) and the Sculpture Center, Queens, NY (2008) among others.

One of the founders of the Movimiento Cinético (Kinetic Art movement), Carlos Cruz-Diez (b. 1923, Caracas, Venezuela) attended the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas de Caracas from 1940 to 1945, and has lived and worked in Paris since 1960. His influential work from the mid-20th century to the present day has informed how movement and color is perceived in art. Cruz-Diez asserts that color is an autonomous reality, devoid of anecdotes, that evolves in real time and space with no need of form or support. Recent exhibitions include: "Carlos Cruz- Diez: Color in Space and Time," the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2011); "Supra-sensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space," the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); "Los Cinéticos," Museo Centro Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2007); and "Inverted Utopias," the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2004). His works are included in the permanent collections of Tate Modern, London, England; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Daros-Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, Phoenix, Arizona; and Centre National d'Art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Gego (1912–1994), born Gertrude Goldschmidt in Hamburg, was forced to leave Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Venezuela where she worked as an architect and teacher and experimented with watercolors, monotypes and wood engravings until her move to Caracas in 1956. Her explorations into the formal possibilities of projecting planes, modules and parallel lines onto curved surfaces and her integration of drawing and sculpture into architectural spaces prompted the Museum of Modern Art, New York, to purchase her sculpture Sphere in 1959. A pioneer of integrating art and architecture and a seminal figure in the early spatial investigations of abstraction, Gego's work has been exhibited widely for the last half century. Solo exhibitions include: "Gego: Between Transparency and the Invisible," the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Drawing Center, New York and Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina (2006–2007); "Gego," Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Spain; "Questioning the Line: Gego 1955–1990," the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico, and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2000–2002).

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996) was an American sculptor, born in Guáimaro, Cuba, who moved to New York in 1979. He completed a BFA in photography at the Pratt Institute (1983) and an MFA at the International Center of Photography, New York University (1987) and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. In 1987 he joined Group Material, a New York-based group of artists whose intention was to work collaboratively, adhering to principles of cultural activism and community education. As a gay man his engagement with socio-political issues and the relationship of politics to one's personal life, forms a kind of foundation to his work. He presented his first stacked paper sculpture in 1989, inviting viewers to take the sheets themselves, suggesting that the artwork is completed by the viewers' physical engagement with it; undermining the Minimalist doctrine of social and aesthetic independence. Gonzalez-Torres represented the United States in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). He died of AIDS-related causes in 1996.

Sol LeWitt
(1928–2007) helped to establish the Conceptual Art and Minimalism movements of the Post-War era by creating drawings and 'structures'—a term that the artist preferred to 'sculpture'—that reduced art to its most basic forms and colors. Best known for valuing ideas over execution, LeWitt began his investigations with large-scale wall drawings in 1968, which were considered by many as radical for their purposeful temporality, conceptual guidelines and instructions and their execution by artists and students whom LeWitt invited to assist him in the installation of his works. He has had major retrospectives organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1978–79; 1996); the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (1992); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000) and MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2008–2033) in collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery. His work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions, including the Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Bruce Nauman (b. 1941, Fort Wayne, Indiana) studied mathematics, physics and studio art at the University of Wisconsin and received an MFA at the University of California, Davis. Often the subject of his own work, Nauman's practice is exploratory by nature. Working in film, video, performance, installation, sculpture, neon, and sculpted body parts, he uses himself, his person, and his characteristic brand of physical inquiry to explore the limitations of art-making, the function of investigation and practice and the role of the artist. Recent solo shows include: "Bruce Nauman: Make Me Think Me," Tate Liverpool, England (2006); "A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s," UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, the Menil Collection, Houston (2007–2008); "Bruce Nauman: Dead Shot Dan," Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO (2009) and "Notations/Bruce Nauman: Days and Giorni," Philadelphia Museum of Art (2009). His work has been included on multiple occasions in the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1997) and the Venice Biennale (1978, 1980, 1999, 2005, 2007). He lives and works in Northern New Mexico.

After receiving his BA in philosophy at Yale, Fred Sandback (1943–2003) studied sculpture with Donald Judd and Robert Morris at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. Sandback's first one-person exhibitions were at the Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf and the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, both in 1968. Since then he has exhibited widely both in the United States and abroad. His work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's annual exhibition of 1968, the Biennale of Sydney, 1976 and the Biennial Exhibition of American Artists at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. In 1981 the Dia Art Foundation initiated and maintained a museum of his work, the Fred Sandback Museum in Winchendon, MA, which was open until 1996. Dia itself presented exhibitions of his works in 1988 and in 1996–97. His work is permanently on view at Dia:Beacon.

Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942, Bronx, New York) spent the late 50s and early 60s traveling throughout North America.The first presentation of his work was in Mill Valley, California in 1960. Weiner divides his time between his studio in New York City and his boat in Amsterdam. He participates in public and private projects and exhibitions in both the new and old world, maintaining that: Art is the empirical fact of the relationships of objects to objects in relation to human beings and not dependent upon historical precedent for either use or legitimacy.