Mark-Making: The Presence of Line

On View March 29–June 19, 2011

Janice Caswell, Port Mungo (detail), 2006, ink, paper, pins, beads, enamel on paper, mounted on aluminum-backed archival foam board, 31 x 39 inches. Courtesy the artist and Schroeder Romero & Shredder.

Mark-Making: The Presence of Line includes work by Abdolreza Aminlari, Deborah Brown, Janice Caswell, Beth Gilfilen, Jonathan Hammer, Nancy Storrow, Deborah Ugoretz and Rose Umerlik. The exhibition focuses on the act of mark-making in empty space, and features the work of eight artists who utilize a linear format to explore issues of spatial arrangement. The concept draws from philosophical ideas about spatial voids, such as horror vacui and the Japanese notion of ma. Ma refers to the use of empty space as an integral compositional element most often utilized in architectural planning. Horror vacui – the fear of empty space – is exemplified by the work of folk artists, who obsessively fill entire pictorial surfaces with content, and by medieval illuminated manuscripts covered with intricate, linear decoration.

Nancy Storrow, Garland, 2007, pastel on paper, 20 x 19 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Each work featured in the exhibition explores the ways in which line and color behave on a minimalist picture plane. The presentation of a wide range of artistic interpretations and media stemming from this central concept, including lines of stitched thread, pastel on paper, painting and mixed media, provide the viewer with a unique, intangible experience, wrought from the interplay between empty space and line and color.

Deborah Brown, Stanhope Street #2, 2008, oil on canvas, 14 x 22 inches. Courtesy the artist.

As a member of the American Association of Museums, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is  committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. The Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 11,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs. Museum hours: Sunday – Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 718 581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours, or for further information please visit our website at

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.