In the late fall of 2018, I had the opportunity to exhibit some of my drawing work at Sussex County Community College in my third solo exhibition, Phases. I’d been invited in early December of 2018 by artist and curator Kulvinder Kaur Dhew is on the faculty at the college. At the time, I’d been experimenting with working at a relatively small scale. It just so happened that I really enjoyed working at that scale—generating drawings in a single session meant that I could move through a lot of work and see what would happen as I started with one color (in this case blue) and shifted on to violet, magenta, red, and so on by adding single drops of the color that would follow into the refillable cartridge in the technical pens that I used to generate the work. The images below are from the installation as is the statement that follows.

This work is an exploration of line, color, and form. It is also the product of an ongoing meditation on the idea of change that emerged in the process of generating these drawings.

When I sit down to work, I am always thinking about things I’ve encountered in nature, from the scientific discoveries I enjoy reading about to the hours I’ve spent looking out of airplane windows, watching as changes in the landscape slowly unfold miles below. What I do is a reflection of the sense of wonder that I experience in these moments. I am in awe of change and the ephemerality that belies the seeming permanence of the world.

The drawings were made using refillable technical pens, which I like because their wire nibs generate a consistent, clean line that has an almost machine-like quality. I apply marks in rows, starting with a single line, and attempt to repeat that line with the one that follows. These attempts produce inexact results. Every line adapts to the one that came before. Each successive row melds with the previous one until it is finally codified into a single, diaphanous form. Nature is imprecise, random, and asymmetrical, and my process is a reflection of that.

Change is always happening even when we can’t see or feel it immediately. This idea found its way into the work when I was in the zone between blue and red—I felt stuck in a purple quagmire. When I laid the drawings out and saw the shift in action, I realized that my impatience with the color changes were analogous to the impatience with the change that I feel in general.

The world often feels chaotic. But when we take a step back, we may see the evolution inside the entropy. The ground we stand on may crack beneath our feet. But the shifting of the earth is what raises epic mountains and gives way to boundless seas.


Adam Hinterlang