Beverly Ress: Drawing as a Way of Seeing

Drawing, to me, is learning to see. I want to see the materiality of the world - what is.

How do I see and interpret the object as real, and physical?

How do I understand its abstraction?

How do I interpret its metaphorical qualities?

How do I understand the object’s relation to space?

I take the sculptor’s stance: that space has its own materiality. Each drawing must respond to the question of that relationship. How is the object integrated with emptiness? How does each inform and affect the other?

Once made, the drawing itself becomes an object. I re-look at the new object and work with its materiality - cutting into it, weaving and tearing it, and re-organizing shapes found within it; or laying pools of watercolor over the carefully drawn work, to see what effect it will have on what’s come before.

The layering of image and form integrates two concepts that inform memento mori artwork – that each of us dies, and that each of us has the opportunity to grab onto and thrill to the temporality of life.

About the Artist
Beverly Ress draws objects in the collections of science and medical museums. Her work explores the connection between the physicality of memento mori and the enduring abstraction of ideas. Ress’ drawings have been included in two national invitational drawing exhibits - Art on Paper at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the 10th National Drawing Invitational at the Arkansas Arts Center. She has had recent solo shows at The Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn, Chroma Projects in Charlottesville, and Loyola University in Baltimore. In 2011 and 2012 she was a Resident Artist in the Bird Division of the National Museum of Natural History. During 2013-14 she was an Artist-in-Residence at GWU’s Mammalian Brain Lab. She is currently drawing at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and has recently finished a drawing fellowship at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Her work will be included in the 2015 Sondheim Semi-Finalist exhibit at MICA in July. Her work can also be seen in a solo exhibit at the Katzen Museum in November, 2015.