The Will to Draw
Found Artwork from the Jim Heimann Collection

April 26 to May 21, 2017

Ampersand is pleased to present The Will to Draw, an exhibition of found artwork from the collection of Jim Heimann, Executive Editor for TASCHEN America. Ranging in date from the 1930s to the 1960s, these collected drawings are an extenstion of Heimann's work as collector, cultural anthropologist and historian of popular culture. The drawings affirm that will to create is a deeply engrained part of the psyche, which transcends age, gender and background. The exhibition also aims to celebrate the role of the collector in shaping our understanding of both popular and vernacular culture. "My eye has a gravitational pull towards images that are unique, unusual or display a sense of guilelessness and naïveté," he notes. "And so, in the course of 40 years of collecting, mostly for book projects, I have instinctively sought out primitive drawings by unknown or anonymous artists. When digging through piles of paper at swap meets and flea markets, there are inevitably “aha” or “haha” moments when a stack of handmade drawings appear. What predicates their purchase is the simplicity of the drawing, the unintended humor, the lack of subtlety or sophistication and the implied sense that there was an unrepressed will to draw. Therein lies their desirability. Adding to their mystique is the anonymity of the pieces. These drawings are often the orphans of deceased individuals whose possessions have been dispersed at garage sales allowing no backstory for their authors."

The exhibtion is co-curated by Ryan Mungia, publisher at Boyo Press, with whom we have co-published The Will to Draw, a small edition book featuring over 100 works from the collection and a contextual essay by Heimann.

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Dorothy Von Gunten
Untitled, 1941
Graphite and color penicil on paper
12 x 9 in.

Untitled, circa 1979
Watercolor on paper

Untitled, circa 1940-1949
Graphite and watercolor on paper
11 x 8 1/2 in.

Phil Lewis
Untitled, circa 1940-1945
Graphite on paper
11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in.

Ring-a-Ding, circa 1962
Graphite and acrylic on paper
11 x 8 1/2 in.

Bob Kirkwood
Untitled, circa 1952
Graphite on paper
10 3/4 x 8 1/4 in.

Untitled, dated 1938
Graphite and ink on paper
10 3/8 x 8 1/2 in.

Untitled, date unknown
Graphite and watercolor on paper
8 x 4 7/8 in.

Max Mogi
Just a Memory, 1957
Color pencil on paper
11 1/4 x 8 7/8 in.

Untitled, circa 1962
Graphite and watercolor on paper
11 x 8 1/2 in.

Don Cockerell
Clark Gable, 1935
Graphite on paper
11 3/4 x 8 7/8 in.

Untitled, circa 1965
Graphite on paper
11 x 8 1/2 in.

Flaming Beauty, circa 1935
Graphite and crayon paper
12 x 9 in.