Zorawar Sidhu: Eakins in Perspective

Exhibition Info
Zorawar Sidhu '12 reinterprets historical artworks by Thomas Eakins using authentic materials and contemporary processes.

Opening reception: Friday, December 8, 5-7pm

Zorawar Sidhu (Certificate/BFA '12) reinterprets historical artworks using authentic materials and contemporary processes. Featuring drawings by Thomas Eakins (Student 1862-1862; Instructor 1876-1880; Director of the School 1880-1886), this exhibition examines systems of drawing in the academic tradition and at present.

Sidhu says about his work:

"For this exhibition, I taught a machine to make graphite drawings. The machine’s course of instruction was in accordance with Thomas Eakins’ drawing manual, a product of his teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The subjects of these drawings are the fundamentals of my own education as a PAFA student: studies of antique sculpture, applied systems of measurement, and the theoretical construction of an object in space."

"My role as programmer was to provide instructions for a drawing in the form of vector paths, sorted by their two-dimensional coordinates on a sheet of paper and organized by the softness of the graphite and pressure required for each mark. In the back room, reproductions of Renaissance chalk drawings were converted into lithographic plates through a similar process, and printed in an ink made from hand-ground natural minerals such as sanguine, hematite, and black chalk. As our experiences of the contemporary world are increasingly mediated by digital processes, these works question the role of the artist’s hand, the value of skilled artistic labor, and the importance of an artwork’s material presence."