Sam Messenger: ‘Straightedge’


Messenger’s large drawings discover new wrinkles in the grid game. Thick, drippy acrylic or gesso grounds give some of his obsessively drawn ink lines the feel of nets or spiderwebs. In one, he creates an astonishing vortex of abraded light through a graceful spiral of white ink drawn over a rough, black surface. This free-hand virtuosity shifts gears in a series of crisply drawn rulers—each number, hash mark, even brand name, carefully delineated in pen and ink at one-to-one scale. With the advent of computer-graphics programs, these measuring tools feel obsolete, becoming perfect subjects for Messenger’s painstaking methods and timeless materials.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Starts: Sept. 23. Continues through Nov. 1, 2008