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Linda Karshan in Conversation with Gill Hedley


Tuesday 20 January 2015; 5.30pm
Vivien Stewart Room
Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Free admission: to reserve a place, please go to Eventbrite

New Hall Art Collection, the collection of the Murray Edwards College consisting solely of the works of female artists, hosts a conversation between AICA member Gill Hedley and American artist Linda Karshan.

“Born in Minneapolis, Linda Karshan attended Skidmore College, New York.  At Skidmore she studied drawing and painting under the architect Robert Reed (born 1938) who had been Joseph Albers’ (1888-1976) protégé at Black Mountain College, North Carolina. She subsequently went on to study art history, first at the Sorbonne in Paris and then the Slade School of Art in London. Continuing her studies, Karshan took a Master’s degree in psychology which fed into her exploration of the process of drawing.

Employing differing qualities of black line, Karshan’s abstract drawings – matrices, webs, networks and grids – are both rhythmic and sculptural. Layered lines and scribbles appear to float on the surface of the page; sometimes the marks constitute an all-over field. At other times they appear to describe more three-dimensional, architectural spaces that evoke scaffolding. The marks themselves can be both sharp and well-defined or smudged and blurred like a palimpsest, retaining traces of earlier stages of the drawing process. Although they refer to the rigorous order and logic of the modernist tradition of the grid, these abstract, often obsessive drawings also subvert the tradition, having been likened to the Surrealists’ experiments with automatism, where the hand becomes the agent of the unconscious and images emerged allegedly subconsciously.

Karshan’s connection to Murray Edward’s College, then New Hall, began in the winter months of 2003, during her exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. She was asked by Dr Aya Soika, Research Fellow in Art History to conduct two artist’s workshops for her undergraduates in Art History, allowing then to gain first-hand experience of contemporary drawing practice. Linda readily took up the challenge; the results were both astonishing; yet not. But it was the longer-term consequences of these workshops which have had the more profound effect on her career. Her conversation with Gill Hedley, a member of the College’s Art Advisory Board, will elaborate on the drawings produced, and discuss the development of the Cambridge links made since those workshops.”

The event is free, book a place here.