For the marvelous organization of living things

Rossi contemporary Brussels 2020

From intimate square formats, to medium-sized and large vertical drawings mounted on aluminum, all are of graphite pencil on paper. Liesbeth Van Heuverswijn (°1989) builds these compositions layers upon layers - the artist superimposes rich graphite coats, erasing sometimes up to the whole composition, and building over again. This technique results in dense and complex surfaces, both polished and sturdy from the graphite. Erasing allows for a movement, a rhythm, relished in itself by Liesbeth, but it also gives way to new textures and new patterns, showcasing the artists’ back-and-forth motion as stratums or as eroded.

The metallic rendering of the graphite is remarkable against the curves of Liesbeth’s forms. Although ‘charged’ with dense patterns of symmetrical lines, the organic forms are flattened, almost pressed onto the paper. The starting point often stems from a flora encyclopedia, inspired by its categorization and standardized visual language. Plants are registered and presented as structures – schematic and pattern-like, these natural species are like stencils.

For Liesbeth, drawing is also about the organization of things (collections of forms, repetitions, outlines) on paper. And thus, her drawings bare a certain omnipresent grid, geometrically structured. Alike stamps or even architectural renderings. The drawings emerge in the duality between their formal and living qualities.

The tradition of the gray pencil, deep and timeless, retains its secrets within the drawings’ layers. At the same time, Liesbeth likes the simplicity of the medium. Evoking overcast prints, almost etching-like, the work has inklings of industrial properties while retaining elegant hand-drawn characteristics. It is perhaps in this relationship that Liesbeth ’s work comes to life. Like strings or like incisions, each line seems to have been drafted in perfect composure. Liesbeth’s drawings are strict – and yet the artist’s hand is light, compositions are generous with their leftover pencil lines, and their attention to coincidences.

Rossicontemporary, 2020