The Intuitionists: An Optimized Narrative

Since 1977, the Drawing Center’s Viewing Program has been a curated artist registry that reflects the organization’s mission to present “drawing as an evolving and responsive medium.”  Now in its final iteration, artists Heather Hart, Steffani Jemison and Jina Valentine were asked to organize a showcase celebrating the culmination of the Viewing Program, while also opening new dialogue for contemporary artists, technology and the compartmentalization of information. 

The Intuitionists CuiFei.jpg

Over the years, when artists were selected for the archive, they were presented with a list of predetermined keywords to help describe and categorize their work.  The result included easier user searchability, as well as items and artists catalogued by theme in a database.  Based on The Intuitionist, a 1999 novel by Colson Whitehead, the author explores notions of a parallel universe: in an exhibition of the same name, organizers have dissected a page from this book into dozens of words and phrases, each corresponding with an artwork of the same descriptor.

The Intuitionists Jenny Perlin

The Intuitionists uses a function of the Viewing Program’s search engine to create a visual narrative inspired by Whitehead’s prose.  In true salon style, “The exhibition considers how the collection, the database, and the aggregate serve as complementary models for the organization of information and objects in flux.” 

The Intuitionists Nicholas Fraser

Featuring more than 60 artists, The Intuitionists is on view through August 24, 2014 at The Drawing Center (35 Wooster Center, New York).

The Intuitionists Thomas Slaughter

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