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Passing Time

Charles Steckler

February - April, 2014

Who among us hasn’t allowed a pen to wander over a page, the mind only partly present as lines and shapes emerge seemingly of their own volition? Some might call this doodling, or automatic drawing; Charles Steckler refers to the process as per pass il tempo – passing time.

Using the simplest of materials, the artist begins an improvisation that reveals a distinct and personal rhythm of mark-making. The drawings develop in a fluid, meditative manner and end based on an intuitive sense of completion. While Steckler does not directly represent objects or episodes in nature, his visual memories and impressions of botanical forms and weather events infuse the drawings.

In his capacity as Professor of Theater and Designer in Residence at Union college, Charles Steckler has designed stage sets for more than one hundred performances. These drawings are necessarily grounded in the representation of space and structure; they are plans to be reproduced, foundations for the unfolding animation of a play. By contrast, the works in this exhibition describe activity itself – that of eye, pen and hand untethered by a strategic plan.