The Menil Drawing Institute just unveiled an extraordinary new work by Berlin-based artist Jorinde Voigt that was specially commissioned for the Menil Drawing Institute. Titled Vertical (2019), Voigt’s site-specific piece is the second in an ongoing series of wall drawings in the interior entry space of the Drawing Institute. Known primarily for her works on paper, Voigt crafts complex notational systems to form the basis of her drawings and is influenced by musical scores, philosophical notions, and scientific diagrams.
Beginning with the concept of a “vertical axis,” a line that sits perpendicular to the earth and tracks the rotational movement of a body, this epic new work responds to the vegetation and natural resources endemic to Houston and the Gulf Coast region, and records Voigt’s presence within this landscape. Using mark-making strategies evocative of artists like Joseph Beuys and Cy Twombly, Voigt’s drawing takes its substructure from sources as diverse as geologic mapping and the force of gravitational pull. With the composition unfolding on two opposite walls ten feet in height, this immersive piece is Voigt’s most monumental work to date, and the first in which she employed chalk as the primary medium, in addition to graphite and gold leaf on wall paint.
Jorinde Voigt was born in 1977 in Frankfurt and currently lives and works in Berlin. She has had recent solo exhibitions in major museums across Germany and in Austria, and in 2012 won the prestigious Daniel and Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation Drawing Prize. Her work is included in major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the British Museum, London; the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; and the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, among others.
Major funding for Vertical (2019) is provided by Scott and Judy Nyquist.