Social Systems 41

Abstract black squiggly shapes on top of intersecting green vertical and horizontal lines

Artist: Lee Walton (1974–)
Title: Social Systems 41, 2016
Medium: graphite and mixed media on paper
Size: 14.5 x 10.5 inches (36.8 x 26.7 cm)

The “Social Systems” drawings are created in two parts. 

First, I create an architectural structure.  This structure is made up of straight lines, precise measurements, right angles, symmetry, repetition and divisions of space.  The engineering of these structures are similar to that of buildings or city planning.  Through the subtle use of ink wash and color pencil, I accentuate the rhythm and pattern of these environments.

Secondly, I respond to these spaces by drawing.  Lively marks happen and begin to activate the architectures, bringing them to life.  I follow an inherent system, in which each mark navigates the space available.  The shape, length, density and placement of each mark are influenced by the marks nearby and the limitations of the structure itself.  The marks are social and respond to one another.  Each mark is seemingly free, but only within the harness of the built environment.

Each mark happens in time – like playing music.  Eventually, the overall forms emerge to create larger social systems.

These drawings pay homage to a handful of artists; such as Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin and Keith Haring.  I am also referencing the comics of Gary Larsen, body parts, the effects of gravity and the flowerpot drawings my Dad used to make for my Mom.

Conceptual influence can be found in the theoretical ideas of Jane Jacobs, John Cage, Mark Tobey, Zen Buddhism and NBA Basketball. 

Lee Walton 2016