Lives and works in Buffalo, NY
Joan Linder’s intimate, highly-detailed drawings invite meticulous consumption. Not, in this case, referring to ingestion, which given the anatomical subject matter seen here would suggest the cannibalistic tendencies of a George Romero zombie, but the visual consumption of seeing and absorbing the detailed mark-making of the artist’s hand as it bears witness to the passing of time. Deliberately eschewing technology for the traditional materials of a quill pen and bottle of ink, the series “Gross Anatomy” consists of Linder’s life-size, painstakingly-rendered observational drawings of cadavers, as well as a drawing, of the lab itself, from the gross anatomy lab at the University at Buffalo. Acting as both as ethnographer and artist, for “Gross Anatomy” Linder sat for months as an outsider in the lab, navigating the politics of the space, the social relationships of the medical students occupying it, and the complex oscillation of emotions when confronted a cadaver, a corpse, and thus death. Beneath the surface of Linder’s formalist practice percolates the interrogative gaze of a social observer, as well as perhaps an eccentric and endearing desire to love that which others find repugnant.
On view at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
To hear the artist’s audio statement, click the audio player below: