In art, formal elements, such as materials, balance, unity, color, subject, rhythm, repetition and emotional response are valuable discussions. However, what about the moment one leaves the image, the moment one exits the gallery and enters the outside world?
This is the question artist Jackson Zorn asks in his show, “Drawing the Blank,” at the Brazosport College Art Gallery. The show, which features Zorn’s meticulous and well-crafted drawings, is currently ongoing through August 26. A reception honoring Zorn and his works is scheduled for 2 p.m. on August 26.
With “Drawing the Blank,” Zorn asks his audience to transcend the artworks’ formal elements.
Discussions held away from the formal elements or the visual artwork fall into complex dialogue that includes content, concept, memory, relevancy and personal experience. The personal narrative of art destroys the need of the image and its formal qualities.
With “Drawing the Blank,” viewers find themselves drawing in their own blanks — the blank of the mind. In remembrance of the piece, the viewer not only recalls how it looks formally, but how it made them feel.
The patterns in Zorn’s paintings visually stimulate or manipulate the eyes. When standing fairly close to the panels with no image, and not blinking, the patterns can visually activate the eyes while engaging the mental narrative in its partnering piece. The patterning, color-coding of labels, and shapes or symbols, are tools meant to exercise the memory of the actual drawing. This work is not only meant to visually stimulate, but mentally exercise the mind in storytelling, optics, image recall and how all these relate to experiencing a piece of artwork, in and out of the gallery.
“My goal is to present the viewer with a unique opportunity to have this experience — the loss of the image, the separation from the image and the mental recall of the image all within the confounds of a gallery setting,” Zorn said. “It leads the viewer to question what is more important, the actual drawing or drawing the blank?”
Zorn, who teaches Drawing, Painting, Computer Graphic Design, Digital Photography and Art Appreciation at Brazosport College, has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts with a focus in drawing from Clemson University and a Master's of Fine Arts with a focus in painting and drawing from the University of Notre Dame. His current work uses iconography, portraiture and pop culture to cultivate extended narratives for the viewer.
Billy Loveless 07/01/2014