Basile Gallery

Anne Harris: The Mind's I

April 4 – April 26, 2022

View the virtual tour

Everyone looks in mirrors, and everyone draws. We innately recognize and scrutinize our own reflections; and as soon as we can pick up a crayon, we make marks—we draw. Both these actions tend to be done privately. What happens if we do them together?

What happens when a range of artists, differing in discipline/media, philosophy, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, age, region, status—economic, art world, etc... all draw together?

How do different artists deal with self-perception, self-scrutiny and self-invention? What does it mean to perceive—to see, feel, touch, move, remember and interpret? What is the relationship between self-reflection, self-expression and self-representation, between internal feeling and external appearance? What is the difference between vanity and self-consciousness? How does drawing connect to and enhance perception? Can the act of drawing together break down barriers? What happens when the private experience of self-scrutiny is shared?

And if the result is a large archive of drawings holding work by these artists, can all of them step over the art-world velvet rope? Can this be a leveler? Can this work, as part of this inclusive archive, find a home in major institutions?

Finally, can this process eventually extend beyond artists? If everyone draws and looks in mirrors, how inclusive can this conversation become? Where will it lead?

—Anne Harris


The project:
The Mind's I is an ongoing traveling and expanding drawing project meant to generate questions and conversation about perception, self-perception and drawing.

The premise:
Self-perception is a malleable product of the mind. Drawing is fundamentally tied to perception. We perceive and draw with both mind and body, using all our senses, as well as movement, memory and emotion.

The process:
I draw in an exhibition space, looking in a mirror, and invite a wide range of artists to join me and do the same (although some ditch the mirror). As we finish drawings we hang them. The drawings converse on the wall, and we converse as we draw. In the end, the walls are covered. The installation becomes an exhibition.

The rules:
1. The artists define perception as they wish, self-perception as they wish, and drawing as they wish.
2. The size of the drawings must not exceed 12" x 12".
3. The experience must be unmediated by photography or computers.

The archive:
Participating artists can donate drawings to The Mind's I Archive, from which additional exhibitions will be curated. The complete archive will be donated to a museum or museums.


Anne Harris is an associate professor of painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and serves as the Riverside Arts Center's Exhibition Committee chair. Various venues have shown her work, including Alexandre Gallery, DC Moore Gallery, Nielsen Gallery, Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the Portland Museum of Art, the California Center for Contemporary Art, and the North Dakota Museum of Art. Harris' work is also in numerous public collections, such as the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the New York Public Library. She has earned grants and honors, such as a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and an NEA Individual Artists Fellowship.


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