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Menil

Wall Drawing Series: Marc Bauer

September 22, 2023–Summer 2024
Menil Drawing Institute

Swiss artist Marc Bauer (b. 1975) has been commissioned to create the fifth installment of the ephemeral wall drawing series at the Menil Drawing Institute.

This 36-foot-wide charcoal and pastel mural, titled RESILIENCE, Drawing the Line, 2023, combines powerful imagery from art history with contemporary references to create a thought-provoking narrative.

Fascinated by how images circulate through society, Bauer uses sources ranging from personal family albums to cable and social news streams which he reconfigures into a prismatic view of history, culture, and politics. He likens this process to a kind of witnessing, a deliberate and deeply personal way of seeing and understanding the world. For this piece, Bauer layers images of manmade disaster and patriarchal violence alongside depictions of resistance, aid, and affection. His images evoke political battles over climate justice, humane migration policy, and the rights of marginalized communities.

The work will evolve over the course of its yearlong display, with Bauer returning twice to Houston in 2024 to alter his drawing.

This series began in 2018 as part of the institute’s commitment to seeking new approaches to the form and language of drawing. Past participating artists include Mel Bochner, Marcia Kure, Jorinde Voigt, and Roni Horn.

About the artist:

Marc Bauer’s art practice is based in his careful examination of how images circulate in print and online media platforms. Bauer uses drawing to reconfigure found images—from sources ranging from personal family albums to cable news streams—with the goal of ultimately shaping a prismatic view of history, culture, and politics. He likens this process to a kind of witnessing, a deliberate and deeply personal way of seeing and understanding the world.

Marc Bauer’s art has been featured in solo exhibitions across Europe, and he recently unveiled a new drawing commission for the 2022 Congo Biennial in Kinshasa. His work is represented in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Museum Folkwang, Essen, among others, and he was the recipient of the 2020 Prix Meret Oppenheim, Switzerland’s most prestigious art award. Bauer was born in Geneva and now lives and works in Zurich.

Wall Drawing Series: Marc Bauer is curated by Kelly Montana, Assistant Curator, Menil Drawing Institute.

This wall drawing is generously supported by John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Cindy and David Fitch; Caroline Huber; Dillon Kyle and Sam Lasseter; Scott and Judy Nyquist; Leslie and Shannon Sasser; Elizabeth and Barry Young/UBS Private Wealth; and Nina and Michael Zilkha.

Artist Talk: Marc Bauer | The Menil Collection, Houston. September 21, 2023.
Wall Drawing Series: Marc Bauer, RESILIENCE: Drawing the Line, 2023 at the Menil Drawing Institute, Houston. Video: Jay Clark