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Randall McCabe
at the Lawndale Art Center, Houston
Recommendation by Katia Zavistovski

Through April 14, 2012

Hung snaking nearly seventy feet around the periphery of the Project Space is Randall McCabe’s "Scroll." This current installation is not only the first time the work has been shown publicly; as the exhibition text informs, it is also the first time the artist himself has seen more than seven feet of his impressive and compelling 150-foot-long drawing at any given time. 


Begun in 2005, "Scroll" is an ongoing project, made evident by the large spools of paper that curl at each end of its unfurled swath. Written intermittently in pencil beneath McCabe’s drawn lines are dates and inscriptions that chronicle his art-making process, which is further emphasized by the exhibition’s inclusion of two studies for "Scroll," each from 2005. 


At once schematic and abstract, the repetitive marks made with a nib pen and India ink that comprise the lengthy work recall the amorphous shapes on topographical charts; the serrated lines that register results of lie detector tests; or the data recorded by hygrothermographs, which measure the levels of humidity in museum or gallery spaces. Both formally and thematically complex, "Scroll" is as expansive in meaning as it is in size.

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