Ways of Seeing: The Jack Shear Drawing Collection

Featuring Jack Shear, Arlene Shechet, Jarrett Earnest, Claire Gilman, Helen Lee, and Joachim Pissarro


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist, curator, and President of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation Jack Shear, artist Arlene Shechet, critic and curator Jarrett Earnest, and curator Claire Gilman join Rail Board Member Helen Lee and Rail Consulting Editor Joachim Pissarro for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Steve Levine.

In this talk

Visit Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection, on view at The Drawing Center through February 20, 2022 →

Jack Shear

Image of Jack Shear.
Photographer, curator, and art collector Jack Shear lives and works in Spencertown, NY. He previously collaborated with Anne Philbin on Drawn from Artists’ Collections at The Drawing Center in Spring 1999, and co-curated Twice Drawn at the Tang Teaching Museum with Director Ian Berry. Shear’s collection has previously been on view in the exhibition Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection at the Tang Teaching Museum. Most recently, his drawings were on view at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. His own photographs are in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Shear is also President of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, and serves on the Drawings & Prints Committee at the Museum of Modern Art.

Arlene Shechet

An image of Arlene Shechet.
Artist Arlene Shechet lives and works in New York. A critically-acclaimed twenty-year survey of the artist’s work, All At Once, was on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in 2015. Shechet has designed and curated exhibitions including Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection at The Frick Collection, and From Here on Now at The Phillips Collection. Her large-scale public project Full Steam Ahead featured monumental porcelain and mixed media sculptures installed in Madison Square Park. Shechet’s first solo show at Pace Gallery, Skirts, opened in New York in February 2020. Shechet currently has work on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jewish Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design.

Jarrett Earnest

Portrait of Jarrett Earnest by Phong H. Bui
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
Writer and curator Jarrett Earnest has contributed to publications including What it Means to Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics (David Zwirner Books, 2018), the Brooklyn Rail, and Art in America, among many others. He has recently curated exhibitions including The Young and the Evil at David Zwirner and Closer as Love: Polaroids 1993–2007: Breyer P-Orridge at Nina Johnson. Earnest was also the editor of Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light: 100 Art Writings 1988–2017 by Peter Schjeldahl (Abrams, June 2019), TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD: Artist Interviews from the Brooklyn Rail (with Lucas Zwirner; David Zwirner Books, 2017), and FORBILL, ANYTHING: Words and Images for Bill Berkson (with Isabelle Sorrell; Pressed Wafer, 2015).

Claire Gilman

A portrait of Claire Gilman
Curator and art historian Claire Gilman is Chief Curator at The Drawing Center in New York. She has organized projects that range from the first solo museum shows of artists like Torkwase Dyson, Natalie Frank, Eddie Martinez, and Curtis Talwst Santiago, to new considerations of work by established artists such as Cecily Brown, Rashid Johnson, and Terry Winters, as well as conceptually-driven group shows by Elijah Burgher, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and Toyin Ojih Odutola. Gilman holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and has written for Art Journal, CAA Reviews, Documents, Frieze, October and has authored numerous essays for art books and museum exhibitions. Her book Drawing in the Present Tense, co-authored with Roger Malbert, is forthcoming from Thames and Hudson.

Helen Lee

This is a headshot of Rail Board Member, Helen Lee with a window background overlooking a garden.
Collector, academic, art advisor, art book editor, and auction house specialist Helen Lee has had many roles in the art world. She has worked at Christie’s, Harry N. Abrams Publishing, the Robert Miller Gallery, and for James Wolfensohn, among others. Her passion for the arts derives from her belief that art and culture provide vital means of communication across cultural and political divides. Helen is an advisor to the Milken Institute for its art and culture programming. She is the Chairman of the American Foundation for the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she completed her post-graduate studies after earning a BA from Harvard. Helen is a board member of the Rail.

Joachim Pissarro

Joachim Pissarro
Art historian Joachim Pissarro is the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries, Hunter College, City University of New York. He was a Curator at MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture. His recent curatorial projects include Alberto Giacometti | Yves Klein: In Search of the Absolute, Gagosian Gallery London (2016); Pissarro à Eragny, Musée du Luxembourg (2017); Olga Picasso, Musée National Picasso, Paris (2017), Museo Picasso, Málaga (2019), and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (2019). His latest book Aesthetics of the Margins / The Margins of Aesthetics: Wild Art Explained (2018, Penn State University Press) is co-authored with David Carrier, following Wild Art (Phaidon, 2016). Joachim is Consulting Editor of the Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Steve Levine reading.

Steve Levine

An image of Steve Levine.
Steve Levine is a poet and a navigator of the space-time continuum, where he has roamed since 1953. His writing is primarily collected in A Blue Tongue, Three Numbers, and Pure Notations (The Toothpaste Press) and The Cycles of Heaven and To and For (Coffee House Press), as well as various magazines and anthologies. Recently, Levine has been thinking about the innate human desire to impose order on chaos, something he has only ever been able to achieve in a poem.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.