Landmarks Brings Drawing by Nancy Rubins to UT Austin

07 December 2016

Landmarks has acquired a second work of art by artist Nancy Rubins. Drawing (2007) will be installed within the Norman Hackerman Building adjacent to her massive assemblage of aluminum canoes and small boats at the corner of 24th Street and Speedway Drive in early 2017.

Initiated in 1974, the ongoing series of drawings bridges the customarily flat medium with sculpture. The alternating layers of graphite and the pressure from Rubins’ heavy mark-making creases and curls the paper, seemingly transforming thick pieces of rag paper into gnarled sheets of glistening metal. Once installed, the drawings fill space like a three dimensional object.


Nancy Rubins, Drawing, 2007. Photo courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

“With their complementary explorations of material and process, and of dramatic challenges to gravity and stasis, the two works by Nancy Rubins now in the Landmarks collection make a powerful joint expression of the vitality of abstraction” said art critic Nancy Princenthal. “The acquisition of a soaring relief executed in lustrous graphite on paper allows the university, already home to the monumental sculpture Monochrome for Austin, to present a rich picture of Rubin’s extraordinary range.” Princenthal wrote the accompanying essay for both Monochrome for Austin and Drawing

Andrée Bober, founding director of Landmarks adds, “Coupling Rubins’ drawing with her sculpture is a natural way to show the breadth of her work, not unlike our installation of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing and concrete block structure also on Speedway. These pairings provide a first-hand look at how themes that occupy an artist’s work can be expressed in radically different forms.”

Nancy Rubins has been transforming everyday materials and manufactured objects into dramatic works of art since the 1970s. Her practice extends and challenges the tradition of modernist sculpture, experimenting with the interplay of gravity, balance, form, and beauty. Drawing will be installed near Rubins’ dramatic Monochrome for Austin and will contrast the artist’s varying themes, media and scale.

Rubins was born in Naples, Texas, in 1952 and raised in Tullahoma, Tennessee. She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore where she received her BFA in 1974, and then at the University of California, Davis where she obtained her MFA in 1976. Rubins taught at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1982 to 2004 and currently resides in Topanga, California.