I both write and draw because “no more words” is a writing process, it’s not a drawing process. The writing fills the space as a drawing would. It turns out to be esthetic, but that wasn’t my first aim.–Hanne Darboven
Hanne Darboven is widely acknowledged as one of the leading practitioners of Conceptual Art. Raised in Hamburg, Germany, she moved to New York in 1965, where she was befriended by another Conceptual artist, Sol LeWitt. He was at that time developing an art form based on sets of abstract rules and systems (an example, Wall Drawing #9 A & B, is on view in this gallery). Influenced by LeWitt and other Conceptual artists whose work abstractly exemplified time and space, Darboven began her Construction drawings: linear constructions of numbers, lines, and markings executed on graph paper in pencil.
Each of these works constitutes a handmade, systematic record of the passage of time. Although they seem abstract, each employs a personal mathematical graphic system that records calendar dates. In addition, the work also conveys a sense of the personal time taken by the artist to draw the marks on pieces of graph paper. Repeated over and over again, these individual works add up to a larger body that conveys the movement of time in the very process of its making. These are but two examples from a series of hundreds of related drawings, each one similar yet unique in its execution and in the dates it represents.