Arnold J. Kemp, Day Dream Nation (14), 2010
Arnold J. Kemp (American, born 1968), Day Dream Nation (14), 2010, graphite and Flashe on Chinese paper, sheet: 9 3/8 in x 9 1/2 in, Gift of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky. Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, 2017.44.1

Making a Mark: Contemporary Drawings

May 21, 2022 – Nov 20, 2022

Modern and Contemporary Art, Floor 4

Making a Mark features contemporary works on paper gifted to the Portland Art Museum by noted collectors of drawings Werner H. and Sally Kramarsky. The exhibition showcases 23 artists whose drawing practices emphasize process, including William Anastasi, Arnold Kemp, Marco Maggi, Allyson Strafella, and Joan Waltemath. Making a Mark illuminates the wide variety of expressions possible when materials and tools take center stage. This selection of works also reveals the many directions that contemporary artists have taken minimalism and conceptual art. Grounded in 1960s European and American art, these formalist and idea-based movements have become the foundation for divergent creative paths. A playful mix of technique and principle underscores the works in the exhibition.

“I really start out by looking at something and saying, ‘How is it made?’ … What happened when the artist put the pencil or pen or brush to paper? And because it is almost impossible, when you work on paper, to correct it, that initial moment is crucial. It interests me that somebody had the courage and the idea to make that original mark.” —Werner H. Kramarsky (1926-2019)

Curated by Sara Krajewski, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Read an appreciation of Vincent Hamel’s drawing Prussian Blue by Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings.