Artist Marc Bauer Updates Wall Drawing at Menil Drawing Institute

by Jessica Fuentes February 8, 2024

The Menil Drawing Institute recently hosted Swiss artist Marc Bauer as he altered his wall drawing, RESILIENCE, Drawing the Line, in the building’s lobby.

In 2023, Mr. Bauer, who has created socially and politically engaged work for more than two decades, was commissioned to create the fifth installment of a wall drawing series at the institution. Previous artists commissioned for the series include Mel Bochner, Marcia Kure, Jorinde Voigt, and Roni Horn. Mr. Bauer’s 36-foot-wide mural was always intended to be an evolving piece. The charcoal, pastel, and colored pencil work debuted in September 2023, and was altered at the end of January. The artist will return again in April to make a final adjustment.

A photograph of a large-scale wall drawing by Marc Bauer.

Marc Bauer, “RESILIENCE, Drawing the Line” (first version), 2023. The Menil Drawing Institute. Photo: Sarah Hobson.

According to a press release from the Menil, while the first iteration of the mural had a major theme of resilience, “the second phase of this work focuses on the theme of resistance.” Mr. Bauer explained that these changes, “Make the artwork a place of negotiation and conversation, rather than a definitive statement.”

A photograph of a large-scale wall drawing by Marc Bauer.

Marc Bauer, “RESILIENCE, Drawing the Line” (updated version), 2024. The Menil Drawing Institute. Photo: Paul Hester.

The updates to the drawing are notably bolder and use large swaths of vivid colors. While some elements, like the queer dance scene at the center of the composition, have been maintained and emphasized, other components have been partially covered with more active imagery depicting groups of people gathering in protest. These new elements changed sections of the work that had shown people as victims of environmental catastrophes. 

The drawing will be on display in the lobby of the Menil Drawing Institute through this summer. On Sunday, February 25, at 3 p.m. Assistant Curator Kelly Montana will speak about the work. Watch videos of the artist speaking about his installation and learn more about Mr. Bauer’s wall drawing at the Menil’s website

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