Joan Jonas: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street
New York, NY, 10013
March 6 – June 2, 2024

Joan Jonas: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral is the first major retrospective focused on works on paper by ACT Professor Emerita Joan Jonas, one of the most significant experimental voices in American art of the postwar period. Although Jonas’s work has received critical attention and acclaim over the past few decades, her voluminous drawing oeuvre, which constitutes the backbone of her video, performance, and sculpture practices, has never been surveyed. This exhibition is a definitive look at the integral place of drawing in the career of this pioneering artist. Animal, Vegetable, Mineraoccupies the entirety of The Drawing Center’s gallery spaces and features more than three hundred individual drawings dating from the 1960s to the present as well as a recent drawing environment.

Chosen from more than 2,000 works on paper drawn by Jonas over a sixty-year period, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral examines the significance of the artist’s use of the medium of drawing as a recording device, an expression of the notion of process, and a way to bring imagery of the natural world into her performances and environments. Jonas’s drawings depict dogs and other mammals like horses and foxes, as well as birds, butterflies, fish, snowflakes, shells, rocks, leaves, and even rivulets of water. Over the years, the artist has also drawn herself, isolating individual body parts like her hands, face, and torso, creating atomized self-portraits that are as studied and carefully rendered as her lexicons of non-human animals.

Events in conjunction with the exhibition:
March 29 | In Conversation: Joan Jonas and Shirin Neshat in celebration of Snakes and Butterflies
April 11 | In Conversation: Joan Jonas and Adam Pendleton
April 28 | ASL DrawNow! ONLINE with Nic Annette Miller and Joyce Hom on Joan Jonas