The Drawing Center Presents ‘Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection’



Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Alexis-René Le Go, 1836. Graphite on paper, 11 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches (30.2 x 22.2 cm). Jack Shear Collection.~ Joaquín Torres-García, Composición (Composition), 1930. Ink on paper, 5 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches, (13.3 x 8.9 cm). Jack Shear Collection. ~ Julie Mehretu, Untitled, 2000. Ink and color pencil on vellum laid on paper, 19 x 24 inches (48.3 x 61 cm). Jack Shear Collection.

Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection will present three curatorial interpretations of the extraordinary collection of drawings that artist, curator, and collector Jack Shear has built over the past half-decade.

Continuing The Drawing Center’s tradition of exhibiting drawings from outstanding public and private collections, Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection offers a revealing experiment in connoisseurship and exhibition-making. During the course of the exhibition’s fifteen-week run, artist Arlene Shechet, critic and curator Jarrett Earnest, and Shear himself will each present an exhibition curated from Shear’s holdings.

Francis Picabia, Transparence [Transparency], c. 1930-1933. Opaque watercolor, crayon, and charcoal on paper. 14 1/4 x 12 1/4 in. Jack Shear Collection © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Shear’s expansive collection consists of nearly seven hundred drawings dating from the sixteenth-century to the present, and includes artworks by figures as diverse as Lee Bontecou, Vija Celmins, Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Tom of Finland, Adolph Friedrich Erdmann
von Menzel, Robert Gober, David Hockney, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Elaine de Kooning, Kazimir Malevich, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso, Walter Price, Jan Toorop, and Stanley Whitney, among many others. In his studio in upstate New York, Shear employs an eccentric approach to hanging his collection, arranging works on the basis of intuited visual affinities, regardless of context or historical provenance. Shear will bring the same unorthodox and intuitive vision to his installation at The Drawing Center. Shechet and Earnest will also take imaginative approaches to curating their presentations. Each was given unlimited access to Shear’s collection, and their selections of drawings will be guided by their own sensibilities and experiences, and in the end, their personal beliefs concerning the presentation and reception of art.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an ambitious two-part publication. The first volume, co-edited by Gilman and critic and writer Hilton Als, will consist of an introduction by Gilman, an essay by Als, and short texts including poems, stories, and visual analyses by contributors Jennifer Krasinski, Ben Marcus, Nick Mauss, Charlie Porter, George Saunders, Clare Sestanovich, Brenda Shaugnessy, Tracy K. Smith, and Craig Teicher. The authors—including artists, fiction writers, and historians, as well as traditional critics—write about works of their choosing from the collection. The second volume, to be published upon the completion of the final installation, will include contributions by the three exhibition curators—Shear, Shechet, and Earnest—alongside installation views of their respective presentations.

Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection, organized in three parts as follows: Take One: Jack Shear, October 2 to November 7, 2021 ~ Take Two: Arlene Shechet, November 13 to December 24, 2021 ~ Take Three: Jarrett Earnest, January 15 to February 20, 2022

The Drawing Center is located at 30 Wooster Street, in Soho, NYC.