Artists Represented

Current Exhibition

Exhibition Archives

Gallery Home

Marsha Mateyka Gallery
Exhibition Archive

"Drawing: An Exhibition of Widely Different Approaches"
Maria Moser  ·  Jim Sanborn  ·  Athena Tacha  ·  Nancy Wolf
February 4 - 29, 2012


Jim Sanborn

"Topographic Projections" by Washington artist Jim Sanborn are based on geometric drawings which he first transferred to large slides, then projected at night onto monumental natural or architectural forms and finally photographed. One of the artist's many series concerning invisible forces.

                                             Kilkee County Claire, Ireland, 1997
                                             Large format projection, digital print, Edition of 50
                                             available: 30x36, 20x24 or 16x20 inches

Longsturn County Cork, Ireland, 1997
Large format projection, digital print, Edition of 50
available: 30x36, 20x24 or 16x20 inches

Athena Tacha

Using spores like pastels, Washington artist Athena Tacha creates drawings in a twist on the mycologist's identification of mushrooms.  The artist has traveled the world referencing natural phenomena through digital prints, sculpture and installations.

                                            Omphalotus, 2008
                                            mushroom spore drawing on black watercolor paper
                                            10 x 22.5 inches

Armillariella, 2011
mushroom spore drawing on black watercolor paper
10 x 22.5 inches
Available works by Athena Tacha

Maria Moser

"My Father's Workshop", is a series of drawings in oil on pages from a mechanical parts manual.  The artist lives and works in a 200-year-old inn/workshop in rural Austria where her father used a forge to repair and maintain farm equipment. Heating, cooling, and elemental forces have long been the focus of her abstract expressionist works.

          My Father's Workshop #1, 2001
          oil on pages from a manual
          8.5 x 16 inches

     My Father's Workshop #2, 2001
     oil on pages from a manual
     8.5 x 16 inches

     My Father's Workshop #3, 2001
     oil on pages from a manual
     8.5 x 16 inches

     My Father's Workshop #4, 2001
     oil on pages from a manual
     8.5 x 16 inches

Available works by Maria Moser

Nancy Wolf

Since the 1970's, New York artist Nancy Wolf has perfected a style of architectural rendering, predominantly in the traditional graphite on paper, to create surrealistic images commenting on urban renewal, contemporary architecture and misguided "progress".

                                                                                                 Forms of Memory, 2012
                                                                                                 graphite on paper
                                                                                                 22 x 22 inches

  Elliptical Follies, 1998
  graphite on paper
  22 x 30 inches

                                                                              Turbulent Landscape, 2000
                                                                              graphite on paper
                                                                              29 x 38 inches

Available works by Nancy Wolf


"Mateyka Gallery show explores variations on an old art form"

The Washington Post, Galleries C10
Friday, February 17, 2012
by Mark Jenkins

Drawing is the world's oldest artistic profession, and there's still pleasure-both sensual and cerebral-in pulling a line across a sheet of paper.  But only one of the four artists represented in "Drawing: An Exhibition of Widely Different Approaches" actually employs a pencil.  The subtitle of this show, at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, is no hype.  All the work on display uses line and shape, but much of it strays far from the everyday sketchbook.

The pieces that stray the furthest are Jim Sanborn's large-format photographs, which document geometric patterns he "drew" with light on landscapes in Ireland and Oregon.  The Washington artist is known for three-dimensional work derived from science, including oceanography, cryptography and nuclear fission.  His photographed-light drawings contemplate "invisible forces" but that's just the beginning of their appeal.

   To make his "Topographical Projections" series, Jim Sanborn built
   a high-powered projector to throw lines of light on night-darkened
   forms, here a castle in Cork, Ireland.

Sanborn is apparently a top-flight tinkerer, and he built his own high-powered projector to cast white lines on night-darkened cliffs and castles.  (He still had to use long exposures to get the designs to register on film.)  Made in the late 1990s, the "Topographical Projections" pit the visible world's irregularities against the sort of order preferred by mathematicians and classical philosophers.  His light drawings impose a human presence on nature, and yet, unlike most "earth works", leave no trace.  Concept aside, they're gorgeous.  The contrast between deep night colors and the projected white light is rich and ravishing.

Another science-based artist, Athena Tacha, makes images by assembling mushrooms and then applying pressure so that their spores leave patterns on black paper.  The results, which suggest early forms of direct-contact photography, are both impressively detailed and quite lovely.  The local artist also draws, on the same sort of black paper, with tinseled hot glue.  The example here, "S-Strings", is impressively painstaking, but not as striking as the mushroom-generated work.

   Bit by Bit: To create the impressively painstaking
   "S-Strings", local artist Athena Tacha drew on black
   paper with tinseled hot glue.

Maria Moser is more attuned to history than nature.  She lives and works in an old inn in rural Austria, where she paints in oil atop diagrams of the farm equipment her father used to repair.  Her loose and often brightly colored additions follow the basic shapes of the black-and-white technical drawings, only partially obscuring them.  Her work is connected to both personal history and the pragmatic reasons for putting lines on paper.

A pop quiz for architecture buffs, Nancy Wolf's graphite-on-paper drawings array structural details and entire buildings in intricate compositions.  "Turbulent Landscape", for example, incorporates cathedrals, pagodas, Greek columns, an earthen African mosque, Norman Foster's gherkin tower and metal spirals from the Frank Gehry playbook.  Like 18-century architectural fabulist Giovanni Piranesi, Wolf renders the unreal, but with authoritative detail.  Although the worlds she depicts are impossible, each individual piece appears genuine.

Drawing: An Exhibition of Widely Different Approaches on view through: February 29 at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R St., NW, Washington, 20009, 202 328-0088,

<...complete online review...>