DRAWING CENTER * April 17-June 8 * Curated by Gregory Burke and Tyler Cann * In films such as Swinging the Lambeth Walk (1940), where drawn and scratched lines undulate in striated verticals and sine-wave-like horizontals to a jaunty jazz sound track, and Free Radicals (1958), in which chalklike
inscriptions streak and sway across a pitch-black screen accompanied by African music, New Zealand animator Len Lye used the cinematic apparatus to make static frames (cels) appear to move.
Most frightening was the science-fiction writer and astrophysicist Gregory Benford's announcement that he wanted to "cut through red tape and demonstrate what could be done" by finding private sponsors for his plan to inject diatomaceous earth--the chalklike
substance used in filtration systems and cat litter--into the Arctic stratosphere.
Along the walls, there were paintings by Frank Stella in which the enveloping black field all but overwhelmed the soft, chalklike
Using as his source a series of oft-reproduced photographs taken during Shackleton's journey, he convincingly renders dark, gelid waters and snow in its myriad forms, from shimmering powder to icy, chalklike
Later, we also wandered deep into Scorpion Canyon, where we stepped over chunks of the island's ancient volcanic history and white, chalklike
hunks of Monterey shale that had tumbled down from hillsides weakened by sheep grazing.