Elise Engler’s Everything They Let me Draw is rendered in colored pencils and was done in response to a request. An art exhibition was being held at a new York gallery and the organizers asked her to participate. Her response to that request was a set of more than 150 drawings. All of the drawings were done directly on a wall of the gallery.
Everything They Let me Draw can no longer be seen. The
artwork only existed for a brief time. The artist only intended to show
it as part of an exhibition and her work was removed when the show was
People who visited the exhibition would have recognized
the subject of her work. Elise Engler decided to draw inspiration (pun
intended) for her drawings from what she could see all around her. She
used her colored pencils to portray objects that were a regular part of
the infrastructure of a building. For example, one drawing is made of
Elise Engler is as famous for her drawings as printmaker Robert Blackburn in
his preferred medium. She copied paintings that interested her to match
the size of the other drawings in her piece. If there was an element in
a particular painting in the exhibition that she liked, she took it and
included it in her own work. The end result was a large collection of
drawings, neatly organized in rows and columns.
drawing at the bottom right corner of her piece is an image of an exit
sign. Near the top left corner, several animals sit, state or prepare to
pounce. Near the middle, two drawings of ants are strategically placed
so that the insects appear to be conversing.
They Let me Draw seems to be a reflection on the things that act as
inspiration for artists. It includes images of nature that would inspire
a photographer, and ordinary objects that a Minimalist artist would
want to work with. There are copies of completed paintings included
also. These remind us that artists often find inspiration by looking at
other works of art.