The Drawing Center’s Benefit Exhibition

The Rejectionists: The Drawing Center’s Benefit Exhibition
The Rejectionists: The Drawing Center’s Benefit Exhibition

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The Drawing Center’s 2023 benefit auction and exhibition, The Rejectionists, will explore the theme of rejection through the lens of modern and contemporary art.

The exhibition will feature work by more than eighty artists. It is co-curated by Laura Hoptman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, and Marc Glimcher, Director of Pace Gallery. It will open with a ticketed cocktail party on November 2, featuring special guest David Byrne.

Tickets are available now on The Drawing Center’s website. All proceeds from the auction and exhibition will support The Drawing Center’s programs, which provide free and low-cost access to art and education for all.

The drawing center - agnes martin, "untitled" and jean dubuffet, "corps de dame"
The Drawing Center – Agnes Martin, “Untitled” and Jean Dubuffet, “Corps de dame”

The Rejectionists

When Hoptman approached Glimcher with the idea to work on a joint exhibition, they began discussing Pace artists that might spark an idea in all the artists that support The Drawing Center.

They kept going back and forth between Jean Dubuffet and Agnes Martin, and then decided what those two artists shared was their rejection of the norms of art. They thought it would be interesting to base the show not on the form of the artists’ work but the structure of their thinking—how both artists sought to reformulate the practice of art making.

These ideas and conversations led them to The Rejectionists. The show is anchored by a 1950 Corps de dame drawing by Dubuffet and a 1961 drawing by Martin, two 20th-century masterpieces from the Pace family collection.

Hung as a continuum, the exhibition situates the Dubuffet and the Martin as two poles for more than 80 other modern and contemporary works on view. The resulting intergenerational exchanges feature drawings, watercolors, and collages from legends as well as newcomers.

What would an exhibition featuring a Dubuffet drawing be without a George Condo watercolor and a Joan Snyder painting on paper to comment upon? And why not juxtapose the Agnes Martin work with a 19th-century Tantric drawing from Jaipur, an exquisite grid drawing by Park Seo-Bo, and a landscape by Maureen Gallace?

There is something for every collector in this exceptional group of works. All works other than the Dubuffet and Martin are for sale through a silent auction, and proceeds will support the exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, and public programs of The Drawing Center.

Pace has a long history of supporting cutting-edge artists and has been at the forefront of supporting many important art movements. In recent years, Pace has also become increasingly involved in philanthropy, partnering with other organizations.

“I look forward to hanging a show that will truly be a conversation between artistic generations—in the language of drawing, of course,” said Hoptman.

The exhibition will open with a party on November 2nd at Pace’s 540 West 25th Street gallery on the 7th floor with special guest David Byrne. Bidding opened online on October 25th and will conclude with the exhibition’s closing on November 8th. Tickets for the party can be purchased online at drawingcenter.org.

You can also register on the site to bid remotely.

A tour of The Drawing Center in Soho, New York City by The Traveler

The Drawing Center

The Drawing Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring drawing as a primary, dynamic, and relevant medium in contemporary culture. It is a storied New York art institution that is a hugely important part of the city’s cultural fabric.

Founded in 1977 by the late curator Martha Beck, The Drawing Center has presented a wide range of exhibitions, publications, and educational programs that have helped to shape the discourse on drawing.

The benefit auction will provide critical support for the center’s ambitious schedule of exhibitions, publications, education initiatives, and public programs. The auction will feature a selection of works by some of the most important contemporary artists working in drawing.

The Drawing Center is located at 35 Wooster Street in Soho, New York City.

Joelle’s Top Picks in The Drawing Center’s Auction

Benefit auctions can be a wonderful place to build out your art collection. 

While you never know the final bid beforehand, you can often pick up quite the deal. For instance, the Alfred Jensen piece has an opening bid of $30,000 and a retail value of $50,000. The Mickalene Thomas work has a retail value of $25,000 but will open at $15,000. Both pieces have quite a bit of room to work with.

But, the general advice of “Buy what you love.” still and forever holds. Below are six works I love.

The drawing center - maría berrío, "the land of the sun 1", 2023. Watercolor and ink on japanese paper. Unframed:15 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches (38. 7 x 26. 7 cm). Courtesy of the artist and victoria miro gallery. Photo credit: daniel terna.
The Drawing Center – María Berrío, “The Land of the Sun 1”, 2023. Watercolor and ink on Japanese paper. Unframed:15 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches (38.7 x 26.7 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery. Photo credit: Daniel Terna.
The drawing center - rashid johnson, "untitled (anxious print)", 2023. Monoprint, archival ink printed on 300gsm hahnemühle copperplate paper. Unframed: 10 x 8 inches (25. 4 x 20. 32 cm). Courtesy of the artist and hauser & wirth © rashid johnson. Photo credit: stephanie powell.
The Drawing Center – Rashid Johnson, “Untitled (Anxious Print)”, 2023. Monoprint, archival ink printed on 300gsm Hahnemühle Copperplate paper. Unframed: 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.32 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Rashid Johnson. Photo Credit: Stephanie Powell.
The drawing center - sabrina mendoza malavé, "calorías vacías", 2023. Unframed: 14 x 17 inches (35. 56 x 43. 18 cm); framed: 17 x 20 inches (43. 18 x 50. 8). Graphite and color pencils on bristol paper. Courtesy of the artist.
The Drawing Center – Sabrina Mendoza Malavé, “Calorías Vacías”, 2023. Unframed: 14 x 17 inches (35.56 x 43.18 cm); Framed: 17 x 20 inches (43.18 x 50.8). Graphite and color pencils on bristol paper. Courtesy of the artist.
The drawing center - david lynch, "please take me over to your sister's house (loud)... I want to help her mow the lawn", 2009-2010. Watercolor on paper unframed: 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (24. 1 x 31. 8 cm); framed: 12 1/2 x 17 5/8 inches (31. 8 x 44. 8 cm). Courtesy of the artist.
The Drawing Center – David Lynch, “Please Take Me Over To Your Sister’s House (Loud)…I Want To Help Her Mow The Lawn”, 2009-2010. Watercolor on paper Unframed: 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (24.1 x 31.8 cm); Framed: 12 1/2 x 17 5/8 inches (31.8 x 44.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist.
The drawing center - mickalene thomas, "la fenêtre", 2023. Acrylic and glitter. Unframed: 25 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches (64. 8 x 49. 9cm); framed: 29 1/8 x 23 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches (74 x 59 x 4. 1cm). Courtesy of the artist.
The Drawing Center – Mickalene Thomas, “La Fenêtre”, 2023. Acrylic and glitter. Unframed: 25 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches (64.8 x 49.9cm); Framed: 29 1/8 x 23 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches (74 x 59 x 4.1cm). Courtesy of the artist.
The drawing center - alfred jensen, "beginning with proportion 9 the count of the great year of 144 years of 260 days", c. 1965. Oil and ink on paper board. Unframed: 30 x 20 inches (76. 2 x 50. 8 cm); framed: 33 x 22 7/8 x 1 3/4 inches (83. 8 x 58. 1 x 4. 4 cm). Courtesy of pace gallery.
The Drawing Center – Alfred Jensen, “Beginning with Proportion 9 the count of the great year of 144 years of 260 days”, c. 1965. Oil and ink on paper board. Unframed: 30 x 20 inches (76.2 x 50.8 cm); Framed: 33 x 22 7/8 x 1 3/4 inches (83.8 x 58.1 x 4.4 cm). Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

Participating Artists in The Drawing Center’s Auction

The Rejectionists is a timely exhibition that explores the challenges faced by artists who do not conform to the mainstream. The show will be a powerful reminder of the importance of artistic freedom and the need to consider rejecting mainstream ideas and discourse like Dubuffet and Martin.

  • Marina Adams
  • Hangama Amiri
  • Anonymous
  • John Armleder
  • Saif Azzuz
  • Jo Baer
  • Yto Barrada
  • Ellen Berkenblit
  • María Berrío
  • Robert Bittenbender
  • Lucy Bull
  • David Byrne
  • Catherine Chalmers
  • Mel Chin
  • Sedrick Chisom
  • William Christenberry
  • George Condo
  • Mary Corse
  • Brian DeGraw
  • Tara Donovan
  • Torkwase Dyson
  • Jeronimo Elespe
  • Rochelle Feinstein
  • Jackie Ferrara
  • Denzil Forrester
  • Maureen Gallace
  • Daniel Gibson
  • Sonia Gomes
  • Alexander Gorlizki
  • Mary Heilmann
  • Karl Holmqvist
  • Sheree Hovsepian
  • Patrick Dean Hubbell
  • Sara Issakharian
  • Oliver Lee Jackson
  • Xylor Jane
  • Virginia Jaramillo
  • Alfred Jensen
  • Rashid Johnson
  • Joan Jonas
  • Nina Katchadourian
  • Guillermo Kuitca
  • Megan Lang
  • Lee Ufan
  • Sol LeWitt
  • Maya Lin
  • Duane Linklater
  • Alan Lynch
  • David Lynch
  • Kylie Manning
  • Eddie Martinez
  • Sabrina Mendoza Malavé
  • RJ Messineo
  • Sam Moyer
  • Catherine Murphy
  • Yoshitomo Nara
  • Robert Nava
  • LeRoy Neiman
  • Aliza Nisenbaum
  • Thomas Nozkowski
  • Paulina Olowska
  • Jorge Pardo
  • Park Seo-Bo
  • Marina Perez Simão
  • Liliana Porter
  • John Rivas
  • Maja Ruznic
  • Lucas Samaras
  • Curtis Talwst Santiago
  • Juliana dos Santos
  • Ilana Savdie
  • Hala Schoukair
  • Arlene Shechet
  • Josh Smith
  • Joan Snyder
  • Saul Steinberg
  • Mika Tajima
  • Mickalene Thomas
  • Richard Tuttle
  • Jack Tworkov
  • Uman
  • Frank Walter

New York city Gallery map

The Drawing Center 2023 Benefit Auction | Pace Gallery, 540 West 25th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, USA

Online Bidding | Oct 25 – Nov 8 | Catalog

Ticketed Cocktail Party | Nov 2, 6 PM | Tickets

In-person Exhibition and Bidding | Nov 2- 8

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