This drawing does not lie in the province of artifice: there is no trickery, no trompe l’oeil, and no affectation of a dialogue between reality and a work of art. Untitled is the reality of Plimack Mangold’s process. It shows her synonymous employment of paint and tape as the materials, method and subject. However, her depiction of painted “tape” and painted “paint” stops far short of the real thing—an intentional disparity that stops us from naming the image and instead creates a stage on which the image becomes a series of movements, choreography.
Untitled inches into our space. Both the deposits of paint at the edges and perimeter and the layers of tape over paint over tape affirm this fact. Although Plimack Mangold places frame within frame—alternating graphite and painted tape with fields of paint—she is not framing a view for us to look into or through, but rather something to look at. It is as though she is directing us: “Look here, look at this drawing about drawing.”
“Images, impulses, clues. Never enlightening me to any more than performance. (Demonstration)”1
- Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Inches and Field, Lapp Princess Press, 1978. [↩]