Celebrate Sketching on National Notebook Day

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A page from Rebecca Kingery’s notebook (left) next to Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas’s “Melancholy” (right)

It’s National Notebook Day! For some that means writing, for some that means drawing. In response to a former Phillips employee’s drawing that we shared last week, several of you sent in pages from your own sketchpads. Celebrate notebooks today and share more of your creations!

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Bud Wilkinson’s rendition of Pierre Bonnard’s “The Palm” at left; the painting in The Phillips Collection at right

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Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly’s “Untitled (EK 927)” at left; Rebecca Kingery’s sketch at right

Finding a Match in Gjon Mili

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Intersections artist Bettina Pousttchi (right) with Phillips Collections Care Manager Laura Tighe (left)

Bettina Pousttchi stopped by earlier this month to consider works from the museum’s permanent collection to display with her own in her upcoming Intersections installation opening in June. Five of Pousttchi’s Double Monuments will be on view with a selection of the Phillips’s photographs, including the above image by Gjon Mili, Ford Car Being Driven through Deep Water at Ford Test Site, Detroit, MI (ca. 1948).

Raise/Raze at the Dupont Underground

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Detail of Raise/Raze, the winning project proposal for the Dupont Underground’s installation contest. Photo: Lauren Griffin

Walking down the steps past a metal door with a padlock to view Phillips partner Dupont Underground‘s first art installation, Raise/Razefeels a bit delinquent. It was hard to temper my excitement at being in a space which at first glance, appears be forbidden. The tunnels still hold trolley tracks and street signs. There are artifacts of the years the space sat abandoned, including graffiti and dripping water. The original designs for the installation included covering the walls completely in a uniform white, but I appreciate seeing these reminders of the tunnel’s past. They underscore the perfect, manufactured luminescence of the re-purposed balls. The effect is the appearance of a pixelated, digital growth in an organic space. I overheard more than one comparison to Minecraft.

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Installation view of Raise/Raze. Photo: Amy Wike

More so than other submitted designs, Hou de Sousa‘s proposal truly transforms the material. In their original installation in The Beach, the balls were a mass that one could sink into and be surrounded by. They moved as a liquid, moving force. Here, in Raise/Raze, the balls function as a solid mass, capable of sustaining form and inspiring manipulation. Hou de Sousa takes the balls from a material that must be swum through and struggled against into a material to work with constructively.

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Installation view of Raise/Raze. Photo: Lauren Griffin

I also appreciate how there are pre-constructed areas to explore and create additions to. It can be difficult to be presented with a blank slate, and by providing three pre-made areas that include a maze, open space with constructed boulders, and stalactite towers, the space gives just enough structure for creative exploration. I look forward to seeing what each wave of visitors comes up with each day, and to see them documented on social media.

Lauren Griffin, Contemporary Curatorial Intern

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Installation view of Raise/Raze. Photo: Amy Wike

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Installation view of Raise/Raze. Photo: Lauren Griffin

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Installation view of Raise/Raze. Photo: Lauren Griffin