December 7, 2012-June 2, 2013

This exhibition presents a glimpse into recent and innovative uses of graphite. A form of crystallized carbon, graphite is a naturally occurring mineral as well as a synthetic, industrial product that can be processed and in multiple ways. It can be machined or carved, used as a powder or liquid, or handled as a lump, stick, or pencil. Graphite gathers together works that reveal the material’s potential to take a variety of forms and yield a wide range of visual effects.

The first major museum exhibition to explore graphite as a medium in works beyond drawings, Graphite includes sculpture, drawing, and installations created over the past decade—including several newly commissioned works—by emerging and established artists.

Expert-led tours of Graphite are available.


Artists in the exhibition include: Carl Andre (American, b. 1935); Judith Braun (American, b. 1947); TR Ericsson (American, b. 1972); Dan Fischer (American, b. 1977); Roland Flexner (French, b. 1944); Michaela Früwirth (Austrian, b. 1972); Karl Haendel (American, b. 1976); Joyce Hinterding (Australian, b. 1958); Christian Holstad (American, b. 1972); Kim Jones (American, b. 1944); Robert Longo (American, b. 1953); Adam McEwen (British, b. 1965); Geof Oppenheimer (American, b. 1973); Dan Shaw-Town (British, b. 1983); and Molly Springfield (American, b. 1977).

About the Catalogue

Graphite is accompanied by a comprehensive digital catalogue that is one of the first scholarly art publications of its kind. It is currently available to purchase on iTunes for $4.99 on tablet devices. The catalogue is divided into three major sections –Introduction & Essays, Artists, and Conversations. The Introduction features an essay by exhibition curator Sarah Urist Green on the metamorphosis of the material in contemporary art since the 1960s, and an examination of the material properties of graphite by Dr. Gregory Dale Smith, the Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Artists section provides information about each artist and contextualizes their work in the exhibition within their larger oeuvre. This section is highly interactive, offering readers an opportunity to experience the artwork and installation through multimedia-rich documentation. Readers will have the opportunity to watch video interviews of artists as they discuss their work in Graphite and their process. The Conversations section pairs artists within the exhibition and with scholars in expansive discussions that begin with each artist’s use of graphite. The results are substantive conversations that reveal the artists’ shared affinities and differences in their approaches to the material.

Graphite Indianapolis Museum of Art 4000 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN