Hanne Darboven—Writing Time

Oct 27, 2023 – Feb 11, 2024
Menil Drawing Institute

Hanne Darboven—Writing Time explores the intertwining of writing and drawing that formed the core of the artist’s practice for over forty years. Hanne Darboven (1941–2009), a German conceptual artist, is best known for her immersive installations of individually framed sheets filled with text formulations and collaged images. At the heart of her practice is the question of how to picture the unfolding of history, the passing of time, and one’s experience within both.

The exhibition at the Menil explores three defining motifs of the artist’s work on paper—abstract drawings, date calculations, and monumental installations. The display culminates with Inventions That Have Changed Our World, 1996, an enormous set of more than 1,300 individually framed sheets that incorporates all the hallmarks of her practice and how they reverberated and evolved over the decades of her life.

Photosensitivity warning. This exhibition contains flashing lights.

Hanne Darboven—Writing Time is curated by Kelly Montana, Assistant Curator, Menil Drawing Institute. The show is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Montana and Dieter Schwarz, independent curator and former Director of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.

This exhibition is generously supported by Suzanne Deal Booth; Diane and Michael Cannon; Sheila Noeth and Ted Dohmen; John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Janie C. Lee; and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Hanne Darboven—Writing Time at the Menil Drawing Institute, Houston. Video: Jay Clark Films
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