Joan Linder: sloppy spontaneity meets obsessive precision

Of Bodies and Buildings: Drawings by Joan Linder,” Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY. Through Dec. 9. Check out Linder’s website.

“In culture hyper-saturated by electronic imagery I use the traditional materials of a quill pen and a bottle of ink to create large-scale images that persist in exploring and claiming the sub-technological process of observation and mark making.” Linder says in her online statement. ” I am creating life size representation of figures and objects. There is a vital relationship that arises between the observer and the observed on a scale of one to one.” In Newsday, Ariella Budick writes that “despite the haunted nature of their origins, the body-free bondage pictures at the Anthony Giordano Gallery appear delicately abstract and elegant. You might feel an undercurrent of aggression in the tensile quality of the ropes, in how convoluted areas congregate in some corners of the paper and go slack in others, but the knotty political nature of the images comes across almost subliminally….Joan Linder’s intricate process, the way she works simply with pen and ink on paper, means that she can’t disguise her mistakes. Whether her nib slips, she messes up the pattern, or a bottle of ink sloshes, leaving a big blotch, the errors she makes become integral, revealing the workings of her very individual hand. At one point, a huge spill appeared on the life-sized drawing of a couch she had been laboring on for months: ‘I was devastated,’ she recalls, ‘but then it was OK. I wanted to do work that was a one-shot deal.’ The contrast between the sloppy spontaneity of the blemishes and the obsessive precision of her line is what makes Linder’s pictures so alive.”

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