Saturday, November 7, 2009

Alan Storey-C4 Contemporary Gallery Los Angeles

C4 Contemporary Gallery, 5647 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

"Alan Storey: Device for Drawing the Movements of a Ballerina", Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Canada, 2008.
All images of this work are copyright © Ashley Judge, 2008.

On a recent very short and unexpected trip out to the west coast I had the opportunity to visit C4 Contemporary Gallery in Los Angeles.(5647 Hollywood Blvd.) The exhibition was work by artist Alan Storey who designs and makes drawing machines that become, in essence, the artist's hand. Having seen some of his images on the gallery web site, I was intrigued with the images produced by the machines as well as the process by which they actually come about. I love the lines! Although Canadian artist Storey is best known for his public sculptures which interact with architecture and public spaces like his giant Broken Column located in the HSBC bank in Vancouver it is the drawings and drawing machines that captured my attention. Below is his Climatic Drawing Machine, 1991 in Toronto. Above is a photograph of his Climatic Drawing Machine, 1991 in Toronto and below, the scale model of the Drawing Machine that was in the exhibition.
Above: the scale model of the Climatic Drawing Machine and the resulting drawing on rear wall installed in gallery.

Above: Detail of 'recording paper ' roll. The direction of the wind rotates the paper recording drum via the weather vane on the roof of the building. The drum is moved up and down according to the velocity of the wind.

Storey's first 'drawing machine' above is motorized and rotates at low speed. A bicycle wheel held by the arm is kept inked and stays in constant contact with the wall, creating the marks or drawing.

Alan Storey: Handle with Care,1991.
I particularly loved the drawings above that were done by a much smaller drawing machine. The drawing machine was equipped with a pen designed by NASA and placed inside a shipping crate and then shipped to several predetermined locations. The motion of the shipping vehicle and the orientation of the crate during shipping determine the outcome of the drawing. The drawing above is the folded open insides of the crate.

Alan Storey: Handle with Care, Lithograph, Montréal to Vancouver (Trans-Canada Higway,) 1994.
From the gallery site:
Ostensibly a shipping crate - except when folded out onto it's integral six hinged interior sides it is revealed to be a canvas and drawing substrate for a specially prepared pen carriage which translates the movements of the container, experienced on the journey to the exhibition space onto the 'canvas'.

This exhibition closed Nov. 7th.
All images and information was posted with permission of gallery director JW Dewdney. He was especially helpful the day we were visiting the gallery providing us with information about the artist and his work.


  1. Hey! This work is very interesting! I'm glad to be introduced to this artist.

  2. Loved reading about this artist's work. I saw one of his drawing machines several years ago at Site Santa Fe. I admire the way he uses Nature and time to create the work. The abstractions that result are ethereal mirrors of Nature's movements. Very inspiring work - thank you for the post!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I certainly cannot describe my response in any better words than Diane used. What an interesting body of work Storey has created.

  4. I felt very fortunate to see this exhibition. We were in LA just for the day and I had time for only one gallery visit. What luck! Yes, Diane says it best. Thanks for you comments.


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