Ane Mette Hol

Drawing Literature

OSL contemporary has the pleasure of presenting the exhibition Drawing Literature by Ane Mette Hol. The project is linked to Hol’s new artists’ book of the same title and has been made in collaboration with the graphic designer Aslak Gurholt. The exhibition at OSL contemporary consists of 24 drawings made specifically for this book. Drawing Literature will be published by Hatje Cantz Verlag and will be launched during the exhibition.

At first glance, Ane Mette Hol’s new book appears to be an ordinary monograph of her artwork with new texts, photos of previous work, and installation photos from her exhibitions over the last decade. The unique aspect of this book is that some of the pages have been replaced by hand drawn pages by the artist. Specific pages were selected to be drawn by Ane Mette Hol, her drawings were then scanned and replaced the original pages. To distinguish between them, the original pages are printed on coated paper, while Hol’s drawings are printed on matt paper. The drawings are accurate depictions of the text, photos, artwork information, and page numbers. The drawings in the exhibition will also include cutting marks, colour strips, and file information in the artwork, which are important tools in book production before the pages are cut and the book is bound. The book includes, amongst other things, double-spread installation photos, where one page shows an installation photo and the other Ane Mette Hol’s drawing of parts of the photo. In this manner, Hol uses central elements from her own art practice as concrete parts of the book’s structure, assembly, and visual profile. The book itself becomes an artwork whose format plays with the reader’s understanding of what constitutes an original and a reproduction.

On page five of Drawing Literature, there is an installation photo of Untitled (Blank Paper) from 2011, a three-dimensional drawing of a cardboard box with animation paper that the artist was sent when she had a residency at Bethanien in Berlin. The book later contains what appears to be another photo of the artwork, but this is in fact an installation photo of the artwork Grey Literature from Hol’s previous exhibition at OSL. The artwork is a drawn copy of a poster that was produced for Hol’s presentation at Art Statements at Art Basel in 2012. Grey Literature is a drawing of a cheap poster, while the photo on the poster is an installation picture of a previous artwork by Ane Mette Hol. In this way, Hol refers to her earlier productions, both by using materials from or about her past productions and by including installation photos of previous work in her new work.

Currently, Ane Mette Hol is predominantly copying and referencing her own art production, while in her previous work she often copied artwork and texts by others through precise drawings. These were artwork and texts that inspired her own practice in different ways, such as photocopied articles and book covers by Rosalind Krauss from The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths and the dust jacket of Gombrich’s Art and Illusion. This juxtaposition of original and copy is strongly exemplified in Hol’s Untitled (After Sherrie Levine’s Art History) from 2007. This is a drawing of a photocopied page with an article about Sherrie Levine from October Magazine, with a photo of Sherrie Levine’s appropriation of Walker Evan’s photo from the 1930s in America. Hol adds yet another layer of appropriation, by copying the article’s accompanying photo of Levine’s version of Walker Evans. This artwork was also the first time Ane Mette Hol drew a typed page to this extent, a motif that she now looks at more closely in Drawing Literature.

In the book, half of the text by art historian Erlend Hammer, is meticulously reproduced as drawings by Ane Mette. As described in Hammer’s texts, this isn’t the first time Hol draws texts written by him. The back page of her detailed artwork Grey Literature also has a text by Erlend Hammer. The poster that was handed out at Art Basel in 2012, had a photo of an artwork on one side and on the other there was a presentation of the exhibition concept for Art Statements, her CV, and a text about Hol’s art practice written by Hammer. Just like this poster, there are also two sides to the artwork Grey Literature. However, in the book Drawing Literature, the drawn text is the only source available to read this text. We read about Ane Mette’s drawings of Erlend Hammer’s previous text about Ane Mette Hol, in Ane Mette’s drawing of Hammer’s new text.

The publication Drawing Literature is supported by the Arts Council Norway and Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond (BKV). We would also give a special thanks to Expo Nova for lending furniture to our reading corner installed during the exhibition.