Dawn Clements

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Dawn Clements
Jonathan Forbes (Pillow Talk, 1959)
Ballpoint pen on paper.
19 x 110 inches (48.26 x 279 cm)
Gift of Mary Temple.
The artist; Mary Temple; gift to the Morgan.

Clements created vast, intricate drawings, which she often expanded over several sheets of paper pasted together. Many of them were inspired by the sets of classic Hollywood movies. Intrigued by the grand mansions in which these melodramas took place, she pieced together various parts of the interiors into long panoramic drawings. The present one is based on the 1959 romantic comedy Pillow Talk, featuring Tony Randall in the role of Jonathan Forbes. Leaving out the characters, Clements focused on the space and décor, including highly detailed still lifes, such as the bottle of champagne in an ice-bucket in the foreground. Clements, who had studied film theory, composed the drawing like a filmmaker, combining fragments from different scenes, shown from multiple viewpoints. Inscriptions at the bottom of the sheet record snippets of dialogue mixed with random notes, the time of a shot, a phone number, etc. The result is a drawing both intimate and large-scale, characteristic of Clements's original contribution to the medium.