One or Two Things I Know: An Interview with Linda Francis, by Brent Hallard, Visual Discrepancies blog, September 22, 2009


Installation view at Non Objectif Sud, France, 2009

Brent: A drawing dated 1978, Untitled, chalk on paper, has a pair of identical penciled or conté grids which you use to make a series of what appear to be perfect arcs; there are finger marks or smudges; some arcs are taken out. The arcs appear to form some shape, allude to volume, but never really do. What I see is a point where you stopped. Was that because you felt the image had reached a stage whereby via the residue the movement just kept going on all by itself? I sense the building of form and then the letting go, engaging in a perfect slip, of folding in and out, in pairs, a synchronizing of different stages.

In Dark Nebula in Saggitarius, 1979, the marks have a similar feel in touch, and there appears to be some pairing, folding, and twisting. Though any geometric sub-structural hint is well hidden under what lay on top. I have an image of this as the remnants of a bout.

Linda: That was a smaller try of a group of large (approx 4×7′ or larger depending upon the space) drawings I made on the wall. The grid was ruled in with pencil and made a rectangular pattern. Each part of the symmetrical grid was drawn upon with chalk using simple rules: only quarter arcs, straight lines, changing the movement at a crossing, etc. They were freehand and each section done with each hand. That is to say, the right grid drawn on with the right hand and the left with left. I just started in the middle and drew out and then came back. I not quite erased what went before to push it into the background and then did it again, responding to the first drawing. I thought of it as re-seeing in time that could have gone on forever. I guess I stopped when I thought the movement was over. Kind of with a long exhale very much as you describe.

I went from the analytical gesture to some years of drawings in which I used the chalk and eraser to literally remake various spiral galaxies. I was looking at small photos in the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies. The epiphany was that these galaxies were the analog of the gestures in the earlier work, and of course by extension the body and brain alike were similarly organized natural phenomena. Drawing for me was a kind of research. Looking at those small pictures united my hand and mind as I tried to find the structure that was simultaneously building and destroying the form. This info was not commonly available as it is now and the few books that existed like Mandelbrot’s first and Pirogene’s were the only references I had to try to find out more of what I intuited to be true. In 1982 I did an exhibition of big drawings in Copenhagen. The show was titled The Order of Chaos and here is a picture of one of them done from the galaxy M101…