“Obsessive Drawing” highlights contemporary interpretations of line by five emerging self-taught artists. This is the first museum exhibition in New York to showcase this international group: Eugene Andolsek (USA), Charles Benefiel (USA), Hiroyuki Doi (Japan), Chris Hipkiss (England and France), and Martin Thompson (New Zealand). The immediacy of the art masks painstaking processes, and the act of drawing becomes a surprising necessity. The artists’ motivations for making art are married to their self-taught survival skills to help them cope with illness, loss, loneliness, fear, and regret. Inevitably, though, the process of drawing eventually dominated this motivation, and making marks on a page became captivating, so that it is now an obsession for each man. The lust for line trumps everything. Each artist thus discovers what John Ruskin (1819–1900) said about drawing years ago, that one purpose of drawing was to record things that could not be described in words.
Brooke Davis Anderson, Curator, American Folk Art Museum