Not Just Extraordinary, Exquisite

The Ross School Gallery opened its exhibition season September 27 with a reception for “Extraordinary Drawings,” a show of works by a range of professional artists, Ross art teachers, and selected Ross students. The central focus of the exhibition is a collection of 10 Exquisite Corpse drawings produced by 30 local artists. In the Exquisite Corpse parlor game popularized by such Surrealist writers and artists as André Breton and Joan Miró, one player would begin a story or drawing, fold the paper to conceal most of it, then pass it to the next player to add on to, resulting in a combination of words or art styles that was entirely new.

The Exquisite Corpse drawings in this show were “commissioned” by Ross senior Caitlin Cummings for her Modernity Project last spring; the exhibition gives the participating artists a chance to see the finished works for the first time. Artists who collaborated on the Exquisite Corpse drawings include David Slater, Rex Lau, Eric Dever, Monica Banks, Mike Solomon, and others, including Eric Ernst, the artist grandson of Surrealist Max Ernst, one of the original producers of Exquisite Corpse drawings. Also featured in the show is a 10-foot-long drawing by Christopher Haile, an artist from Sag Harbor who passed away in 1998, leaving behind a prolific body of artworks; a pastel drawing by Cuban artist Manuel Mendive, created on his recent visit to Ross School; and a large-scale portrait drawing by East Hampton artist Jack Ceglic.

The show also includes drawings by Ross art teachers Ned Smyth, Jennifer Cross, Jon Mulhern, and Soraya Brooks, plus an anatomical drawing by scientist Joseph Napolitano, husband of Ross teacher Mami Takeda. A number of Ross High School students and Ross alumni are also represented, including Jason Song, Serena Kim, Joe Lin, Olivia Meihofer, Zac Wan, Isabel Cassou, and Riko Kawahara.

“Extraordinary Drawings” was organized by Dean of Visual Arts Jennifer Cross, and will remain on view through November 8.