along these lines: Reading a drawing without labels, via Hyperallergic

Writing for Hyperallergic, Melissa Stern describes the formal and semi-linguistic variety of line in autistic artist Dan Miller’s solo exhibition at Ricco Maresca Gallery:

Strong, intense directional markings vie with big loopy “faux” writing. Occasionally a word or letter pops out. In the painting “Untitled (peach and gray with graphite)” the word “lied” shines out from the left side. This one word sets an entire narrative into motion. Who lied? What lied? Are paintings lies? The rest of the work is a tantalizing tangle of line and color. I’m drawn in, trying to find more words; the shapes tease. Maybe it’s a word, maybe it’s a painting of a word, maybe a line and nothing more.

As the article continues, Stern notes that Miller has few verbal communications skills. Her advice: “Enjoy the fresh voice of a talent that transcends language, back-story, or label. Look. Closely. And leave it at that.”

For me, this non-analysis is a mere celebration of reductivism. By observing the lines made by an artist whose attempts at picturing language may fall flat, we open up a liminal way of thinking about lines and their relationship to writing that, in the work of literate visual artists, might easily be overlooked.