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Courtesy Walker Art Center
Copyright retained by the artist


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Construction Drawing
framed 24 × 19 × 1 inches
graphite, ink on graph paper
On view at the Walker Art Center, Gallery 3

Object Details

Drawings and Watercolors (Drawings)
Accession Number
in black ink BL “M.d. 1966 NYC”; N.A.
Physical Description
A drawing of a geometric grid pattern on graph paper.
Credit Line
Clinton and Della Walker Acquisition Fund, 1999

object label Hanne Darboven, Construction Drawing (1966) Walker Art Center, 1999

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.

Label text for Hanne Darboven, Construction Drawing (1966), from the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 5, 1999 to September 2, 2001.

Copyright 1999 Walker Art Center