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Huguette Despault May: The Hawser Series

June 21 - August 25, 2013 Free Admission

Daum Museum of Contemporary Art will exhibit twelve large-scale drawings from the Hawser Series by Huguette Despault May from June 21 until August 25, 2013. The meticulously rendered group of drawings takes its name from the python-sized rope, or hawser, used in mooring or towing a ship. May draws a section of a single hawser in great detail, focusing on both its deterioration from intensive use and the integrity of its remaining structure. May’s Hawser Series depicts the rope in charcoal, showing its rhythmic braiding and its unraveling into fibrous tendrils. The drawings (with dimensions up to 75 by 38 inches) are closely observed renderings as well as iconic and dramatic presences that confront and engage the viewer. The artist has written, “The drawings are made at the scale of the human body, and have a physicality that evokes muscle, hair, and sinew. As surrogate bodies, these ropes are metaphors for the tension, frayed nerves, and entanglements that we experience as human beings.” May began her involvement with drawing rope as a graduate student at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she received her MFA in 2006. This series began with the chance discovery of an abandoned ship’s hawser during a visit to the old whaling port of New Bedford, MA. The rope’s heft and tattered state immediately suggested an exciting series of drawing investigations. Each drawing in the Hawser Series derives from that single piece of Korean-War-era rope, created by the last master rope maker, John E. Ruggles. May’s work has been exhibited in the Pastel Society of America Annual Exhibition, New York, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Navio Artisans Collective, New Bedford, MA. Hawser Series: Drawings by Huguette Despault May is organized through Katharine T. Carter & Associates.