History of the Wall Drawings

In 1998 I created an on-site wall drawing installation titled Marianismo at 500X Gallery’s project room (Dallas, Texas). The narrative drawing, created out of conte, covered three walls. At the time I was looking for an artistic challenge in terms of scale and dexterity. Drawing the figurative forms larger than life size in a loose gestural manner over the course of four days was an exhilarating experience – the drawing came to life through a mere weaving of lines. I was like a circus performer working without a net; I didn’t know if I could complete the drawing installation in a timely manner and I purposely worked without correction tools (no erasers or such). This stunt of high intensity drawing would become part of my artistic repertoire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wall drawing installations have been created at numerous galleries since 1998: Conduit Gallery, ARC Gallery, Durango Arts Center, H. Paxton Moore Gallery, Gallery at UT @ Arlington, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Gallery, and Actuel’Art Lagalerie.  The earlier installations had some collage components but the latter ones are solely conte crayon.

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Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas
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University of Texas @ Arlington, Texas Gallery

 

I was literally leaving my mark everywhere. These ephemeral drawing installations existed approximately thirty days before being painted over. The impermanent nature of the work was appealing to me. While my marks were painted over at the conclusion of each exhibition, they did live on forever beneath a layer of white gallery paint. I reveled in the idea that my mark-making existed somewhere underneath all these walls – my marks frozen into strata.

 

 

 

 

 

The line work in the wall drawing installations looks similar to the line work of hair. An artist friend offer this observation to me one day as we looked at one of my on-site installations.

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500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Rosemary Meza-slide
H. Paxton Moore Gallery, El Centro College, Dallas, Texas

These large scale drawings are physically demanding; some artworks require intensive drawing of 8 to 10 hours a day for several days in a row. The necessity of scaling up the human figure for these on-site installations is sometimes a daunting task.  I do not use opaque projectors; I use a line gesture to capture the initial image onto the wall surface.  Redrawing to change proportions, I leave my early marks as a visible map of the drawings’ development and progression.

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Actuel’Art Lagalerie, Paris, France, 2011
Wall Drawing 1
ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2017
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Durango Arts Center, Durango, CO, 2018

 

Solo Exhibit at Amos Eno Gallery

Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Jane Anger, an exhibition of new works by Rosemary Meza-DesPlas. Jane Anger features hand-sewn human hair drawings, watercolors and onsite installations. The title refers to a 16th century pamphlet published in England titled Jane Anger, Her Protection for Women. The exhibition runs until February 24th at the gallery’s location at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY. D739D15F-7DD1-40B7-97BC-27989746F35FIMG_2679IMG_2702IMG_2703IMG_1129 (1)B292599B-E661-4EC0-981D-45E80929A92BIMG_2210IMG_2306IMG_2325IMG_2330IMG_2323

“Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being.” –Audre Lourde

Meza-DesPlas explores the concept of anger as a tool for change by juxtaposing found imagery from social media, art history and mass media. She is interested in how the social movements, Women’s Marches and #MeToo, harnessed anger in order to forefront an array of gender-based burdens.

This exhibition includes Meza-DesPlas’ most recent drawings which incorporate her gray hair. She has been sewing with her own hair since 2000. Her hair is hand-sewn into a variety of grounds with small embroidery needles. Meza-DesPlas’ decision to collect, sort and utilize hair as a vehicle for art-making is informed by socio-cultural symbolism, feminism and body issues, and religious symbolism.

Note on Floor Installation:

These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You, 2018

Gallery visitors are encouraged to walk on the vinyl floor applique. This floor piece, comprised of abstract portraits, depicts various men accused of sexual harassment, assault, and/or misconduct. To walk all over someone means –

  • Treat them with contempt
  • To treat someone badly
  • To disrespect
  • To dominate a person
  • To make someone feel inferior

While a small gesture, walking over these perpetrators can provide a sense of empowerment. As you walk across the floor applique, contemplate your personal experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and/or misconduct.

Conversations * Self-reflection * Accountability * Social Transformation

 

nevertheless: She Persisted @ Durango Arts Center

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“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and  deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens” First Lady Michelle  Obama.

The title of this exhibition “nevertheless: She Persisted” refers to a phrase by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In defense of silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren, McConnell said, ““Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Subsequently, the phrase was embraced on social media and became a battle cry for women across the U.S. in 2017. Women did not want to be told — to sit down and stop talking.

The works in this exhibition are grouped into categories to reflect gender-based burdens. These are hardships disproportionately shouldered by women in society. These gender-based burdens include gender-based violence, political inequality and gender-based-poverty. This weight hauled by women can have a palpable physical existence or take on a psychological shape of enormous proportions. Many women live day-to-day hindered by gender-based burdens; yet, they continue to persist.

The goal of “nevertheless: She Persisted” is to raise awareness of gender-based burdens. By fore-fronting gender-based burdens, inequities surrounding violence, poverty and politics and their impact on women can continue to be highlighted and discussed. Ongoing visibility of these issues is a necessity in order for change to occur – whether it manifests in small steps or larger advancements.

New Wall Drawing Installation @ ARC Gallery

“Carry This Burden, Now and Till the Moment of Your Last Breath” is on view now at ARC Gallery, 2156 N. Damen Ave., Chicago. It is a wall drawing installation composed of conte on wall, specialty fabric mounted on vinyl. The exhibit continues until September 23rd. Wall Drawing Installation in ProgressWall Drawing Finished 2Wall Drawing Detail 4 Upper BodyDetail of ArmDetail of Right Hip