Drawing and Contemporary Art

What is Drawing?

A simple enough question, and one i thought i knew the answer to. Since enrolling at art school however i have realised there is no short simple answer to this simple question.

The current ‘Shorter Oxford Dictionary’ defines drawing as:

‘the formation of a line by drawing some tracing instrument from point to point of a surface; representation by lines; delineation as distinguished from painting…the arrangement of lines which determine form.’

It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define. During the Renaissance the term ‘disegno’ implied drawing both as a technique to be distinguished from colouring and also as the creative idea made visible in the preliminary sketch.

Victorian & Albert Museum

It is an interesting, and quite existential time in contemporary art. All traditional use of art terms as we have known them have been stripped down and attempted to be redefined. We are currently living in an almost undefinable era of art practice. Where everything is possible and all interpretations seem equally accurate or at least equally acceptable. And when it comes to writing about art we can critic artists and artworks, exhibitions and institution, but it is almost impossible for contemporary art to be historicised  in the current as one whole movement or era.

“History may be a creative construction,….., but it can never be a definitive construction — just as no artistic construction can be definitive of art, at least from a contemporary point of view — because there is always more contemporary evidence to undermine it.”

Donald Kuspit  – The Contemporary and Historical

Kuspit is an interesting art critic whom discusses many interesting observations on contemporary art – my favourite being the idea of art as… an Atlantis that has sunk into the sea because of the volcanic eruption of contemporary art. To bring us back to the defintition of drawing, i ask is it a verb or a noun?

I think of drawing in a much wider context — I think of it as the cursor on this page, the route you walk to work, the map I just googled for directions or the print in the label in your t-shirt. I think of drawing as lines created in space, on the page, on a screen, or just mentally and emotionally to make sense of information or to convey information.

Sarah Sze, Interviewed by Blouin ARTINFO

I hope to explore the essence of drawing beyond the traditional. Exploring the different processes that an artist might go through when developing an artwork or the less process of producing something less complete. Hopefully i can eventually define these once concreted terms in my vocabulary such as, Drawing, Painting and the contemporary ultimate -Art!

Christopher Hanrahan discusses the symbiotic relationship between….the ephemera created in the process of making artworks and their existence as artworks themselves. This is a lovely concept where by the enjoyment of the process and visceral experience when creating is as important as the outcome – lovely.

I will explore the essence of drawing beyond the traditional in weekly modules. Exploring the different processes that an artist might go through when sketching their artwork.

Incidental Drawing Workshops and Adventures

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.40.48 pm Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.40.38 pm Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.40.30 pm Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.40.18 pm Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 5.40.06 pm

Sources:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/w/what-is-drawing/

http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/kuspit/kuspit4-14-05.asp

Incidental Drawing Class Outline – Lecturer Christopher Hanrahan, Sydney University

One comment on “Drawing and Contemporary Art

  1. […] I think of it as the cursor on this page, the route you walk to work, the map I just googled for directions or the print in the label in your t-shirt. I think of drawing as lines created in space, on the […]

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