Artists Statement by Seamus O’Rourke

This website reflects my most recent work with a specific focus on drawings on paper. In these works I emphasise a critical moment in the History of Modernism in Europe with a corresponding reductive process on paper: my drawing essentially examines ideas of censorship and loss, especially in relation to the largescale destruction of Artwork termed ‘Degenerate Art’ or ‘Entartete Kunst’ by the Nazis in 1939. It is estimated that 1,004 paintings and 3,825 works on paper were entirely destroyed. In this ongoing ‘Dark Inventory’ series, I examine the empty spaces left behind after these thousands of Artworks were confiscated from Public Galleries and Museums throughout Germany and which were consequently burned in Berlin by the Reich. This concerted annihilation of Modernist paintings in Germany is the conceptual basis and context for these ink ingrained works on paper which I have have been creating in the past four years. These blacked out drawings signify a suspended inventory in a rectilinear format, which holds fragments of evidence in place and which establishes a critique of the act of censure and the curtailment of expression. In these drawings, I engage with politicizing the space between what is visible and what is absent. Subsequently, this challenging act of scrutinizing loss, creates the engagement for communicating to an audience,the constant vigilance required to protect freedom of speech.