Tom Toperzer's Obsessions on Paper


February 4 - March 26, 2005

Tom Toperzer exhibited Obsessions on Paper at [Artspace] at Untitled from February 4 to March 26, 2005. This exhibit featured a number of Toperzer's "drawings" that consisted of ink and watercolor works on paper.

If I were to start collecting today I would collect the pieces of paper of whatever poets, painters, composers, sculptors, architects, choreographers, etc., make their markings on. I would collect drawings.

Drawing is primal and it is a compulsive activity.  It is part of our nature as human beings to make marks, we are creatures who must create.  

In this exhibition I am exposing my personal compulsive - even obsessive need to draw.  Each of these drawings was made over a long period of time.  They usually began while I was in front of the television.  The “hyphenated” date you see next to my signature means they have been works in progress and have more than one completion date.  I seem to have to continue to draw on them.  In fact as I was framing the work for this show I would add to the drawings. The best way for me to stop drawing other than realize the drawing has had enough of me is to put them away in a drawer.  Out of sight out of mind works for me.

These drawings are not preliminary studies for paintings or anything else. They are works unto themselves.  When they are completed they are complete singular statements.  In addition to whatever else they are, they are drawings about drawing.

I also make drawings which become paintings.  Many years ago an artist friend was waiting for me to finish a phone call after which he walked over to my desk and pointed at the edge of the piece of paper I was taking notes on during the telephone conversation. “You should make paintings like those drawings”, he said.  It has taken me 20 years to understand and become able to make paintings using these drawings from the edges. 

- Tom Toperzer