Amelia’s Magazine | Ruptures: Monica Gryzmala


The Drawing Room is the only public gallery in the UK dedicated to drawing in its many permutations in contemporary practice. Started in 2003, it has an impressive roster of past shows. From the street, a small door gives the space a Narnia-tinged entrance that makes you stoop to enter. Having crossed a mid-West style yard area, nicely incongruous with the East London setting, it’s up some rickety stairs to the high-beamed gallery area.

Monica Gryzmala has raided the stationers and staged a number of intervention using different kinds of sticky tape in various crannies and nooks. I had high hopes for this, her first UK solo show, having seen other works such as Transition (2006), where elegantly sinister reams of black video tape scored the walls of another gallery.


Wandering between the interventions, however, it was hard to connect. There are interesting moments; for example, the white membrane-thin tape that seems to be lifting slivers of the white gallery wall into a maelstrom of criss-crossing lines across the main room. The lines of tape that are everywhere, in the interventions and a tracing paper line drawing of a cityscape, work well with the natural lines of the gallery that are emphasised by the angular wooden roof beams.

Farbrauschen (chromatic noise) (2009) introduces dots of tape to the lines that perpetuate. However, as my companion pointed out, this piece looks much better as a photograph. Points of perspective and angle are given a heightened ambiguity in the move from 2D initially (the tape) to 3D (the wall) and then back to 2D (the photo). Just seeing stage two, as presented in the show, feels insubstantial.

Ruptures is an appropriately plural title for a show which will be linked to other related interventions in spaces across the country, including the Fruitmarket gallery in Edinburgh (November 2009-January 2010) and mima in Middlesborough (February 2009- May 2010), as part of the Hayward’s touring exhibition ‘The end of the line: attitudes in drawing‘. This continual re-imaging and re-imagining is ambitious and the most interesting aspect of Ruptures. But as a free-standing show, Ruptures is underwhelming.

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