Excerpt from catalogue essay by Claire Gilman, Curator of the Drawing Center, New York
[W]ith the exception of Carl Andre's typewriter drawings, the work in Drawing Time, Reading Time is all hand drawn. Indeed, filtering language through the indexical mark and an author’s guiding hand is key to each artist’s approach. This physical application is perhaps nowhere more evident than in Molly Springfield’s careful, labor-intensive drawings of pages from landmark volumes on conceptual art. Springfield’s process is complex and, in some respects, her minutely rendered pencil drawings of interior pages form the perfect complement to Ruppersberg’s closed volumes. Significantly, however, hers are not straightforward replications of book pages, but rather, reproductions of these pages as they have been photocopied, complete with chiaroscuro renderings of ink smudges and torn-paper book marks sticking out from their compressed pages.
There are numerous reasons for Springfied’s incorporation of the photocopy into drawing, but paradoxically, and despite the reference to conceptual-art projects such as Mel Bochner’s 1966 photocopy binders or Seth Siegelaub’s 1968 Xerox Book, her intention is not to undermine the authority of the handmade work. Rather, by carefully duplicating these photocopied pages, Springfield focuses attention on the use to which these volumes have been put. She reintroduces the human component into work that deliberately sought to suppress it. There is perhaps no better way to perceive the limitations of Sol Le Witt’s call to mechanize artists process, for example, than to see his “Sentences on Conceptual Art” handled in this way, the myriad slips of paper offering evidence of the many readers who have applied themselves to his instructions. What Springfield reveals here—as do all of the artists in Drawing Time, Reading Time—is the impossibility of arresting the flow of meaning, even if this process takes diverse forms or is incomplete and accompanied by failure.