The Memory Trick


Drawing by Mark Landis, video (4 mins)

Edition of 8

This work consists of a video of Mark Landis making a copy of Mary Cassatt’s drawing, Margot with a Ruffled Bonnet (no.4), and one of Landis’ many copies of the same drawing. To make the copy, he places a lamp on his bed, over which he holds a piece of perspex with a printout of Cassatt’s original fastened to it. He produces his own drawing using a combination of tracing and freehand sketching, flipping his paper up and down in an effort to ‘memorise’ the image. He calls this technique, ‘the memory trick’. He ends up with a drawing that is effectively traced, but appears to be much more loosely rendered.

Landis features frequently in my work, and his story is told through various forms on this website. See Proposal for a Collection (2011), Lot 114, Sotheby’s (London), 30 November 1994 (2010) and The Landis Museum (2018).