Louise Despont

American artist Louise Despont Despont uses architectural stencils to create intricate pencil-on-paper drawings, often on antique ledger book pages. As featured on Art 21, the artist works at home between a small desk and her bedroom floor with a limited set of tools to yield “surprising discoveries,” she says. “To be focused and dedicated to doing one simple thing can perhaps be the most transformative thing,” she continues. “Narrow as it is, it can be infinitely deep.” Looking through her private notebooks, Despont reveals how years of experimentation with collage, ink blots, and freehand drawing have led her to the incredibly refined process she uses today. The artist shares how each new drawing emerges organically, often begun without a formal plan and initiated with just a few marks. “It’s a complexity that you can’t think up. It’s like little mineral deposits build up and make an entire surface.” As intuitive explorations of symmetry born out of pure geometry, Despont’s drawings tap into universal themes of energy, spirituality, and nature.

Despont was born in 1983 in New York, New York, and divides her time between New York and Bali. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, (2006) and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to India (2009). She has held residencies at MacDowell Colony (2008), Polli Talu Arts Center in Estonia (2008), and Sanskriti, New Delhi.