Painting Between the Lines

October 04, 2011 to December 17, 2011

With Painting Between The Lines, the CCA Wattis Institute will continue its investigation into the relationship between literature and art by commissioning 14 contemporary artists to create paintings based on descriptions of paintings in historical and contemporary novels.

Artists include:

Laylah Ali
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Michaël Borremans
Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
Marcel Dzama
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Cecilia Edefalk
August Strindberg, The Red Room
Jordan Kantor
Albert Camus, Exile and the

Michael van Ofen
Umberto Eco, The Name of the

Laura Owens
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Clare Rojas
Marcel Proust, Swann's Way
Wilhelm Sasnal
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Maaike Schoorel
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
Raqib Shaw
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Norbert Schwontkowski
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Fred Tomaselli
Samuel Beckett, Watt
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
Sándor Márai, Embers

Through an examination of how contemporary artists look at storytelling, literature and writing as expressions of individual thought, Painting Between The Lines looks into the state of contemporary painting today and attests to the vitality of the medium, presenting some of its most innovative practitioners. The artists in the exhibition work across a number of different forms and styles and are primarily based in Europe and the United States.

Even though writing and painting have been connected throughout history, literature has of late become a diminished subject in the medium of painting, which has looked more to history, society, politics and itself for inspiration. Through reintroducing literature as a viable subject for painting, this exhibition looks at the relationship between these two artistic fields, their different modes of representation, the various ways text can be translated into image, and how they both, in unique ways, have the ability to elicit a response from those who engage with them.

The choice of the novels has been central to the commissioning process. Many of these imagined paintings have been envisaged in exhaustive detail, they inform the texture of the novels and provide background details, while others play a pivotal role in plot or character development. However, while the descriptions of these paintings may be vivid, they remain open to interpretation in their physical form by the artists.

Painting Between The Lines is traveling to the Williams College Museum of Art February 16 - June 9, 2013.