Drawing Now: Between the Lines of Contemporary Art

A Selection of Works

Nayland Blake, Untitled, Charcoal on paper, (2000).

 At first glance this looked like a rabbits head to me, then I saw the dark black foreground is a torso with the arms raised; in the lighter background image I could just make out a face.  There are three white ‘holes’ on the torso, what do these mean?  Are they bullet holes in a black anonymous man, are they portholes into the inner man, are they flaws we all have?; are the arms raised in protest or surrender?

This seemingly simple drawing raises a lot of questions for the me and the more I look, the more I think about what it means and the ideas behind the drawing.

Julie Brixey-Williams, Locationotation Series, Graphite Powder on watercolour paper, (2001).

I really like the simplicity of the images in this series against the complexity of the process.  There are eight drawings depicted in the book from a series of 52 pirouette drawings performed simultaneously by 52 dancers at 11.30 am on Saturday 9th June 2001 at various locations.  The process of getting 52 dancers to perform all at the same time and then bring all the images back together is clearly an important part of this artwork.  The resultant images whilst they are similar are all individual as well, reflected the the nature of the dancer themselves, part of a dance company but all individual dancers.  The organic nature of the images, coupled with the tightness or looser nature of the pirouette image and the texture of the surface, make these interesting images in themselves.

Brian Fay, Woman Meditating after Corot, Digital drawing on paper, (2005)

There is a slow emergence of the figure from the seemingly disjointed marks which at first do not define the form.  This drawing shows how line does not have to follow the outline of the form to create a recognisable image.  Is the drawing a comment on the current position of women in society – in the background slowing trying to emerge, marginalised, undervalued?

Maryclare Foa, Manhattan Trace, 31st December 2003, 16 miles approx. (18.65 kilometres), Raw Hertfordshire chalk on New York pavement, (2003)

This temporary drawing of pulling a piece of chalk on a string (lead) on a walk around New York is an interesting idea and an interesting process.  It brings to mind the temporary nature of our impact on a place we visit and the interactions we have on the way.  I like the process in this piece of art and the question it raises about what is the art – the process of the drawing by dragging the chalk, the marks themselves or is it the photographs of the process?  I find it interesting that Foa has specifically cited the origin of the chalk as if she is bringing the country to the city.

Dean Hughes, A paper bag with some stickers stuck inside it, Brown paper bag, adhesive stickers, (2006)

This is another piece which questions the nature of drawing – is this drawing, a sculpture, an art installation – does it matter?  Not sure what the artist was saying but I felt the bag represents us and the stickers the things we pick up during life which become part of us and help us become more whole.  I also liked the fact that the an ordinary brown paper bag and some coloured stickers could become a work of art and that it is the idea the art generates in the viewer that is important not the art materials themselves.

David Shrigley, Untitled, Ink on paper, (2005)

The drawing of someone at a computer screen with the message, You have no fucking emails,  made me laugh as it reminded me of work where some people continually check their emails and feel their status is defined by the number of emails they receive – the more emails the more important you must be.  I like the comic graphic art nature of the drawing.


This is a book which I will continually return to throughout the course.  Whilst I am just at the beginning of the course, it has already made me think more both about my process and the idea behind my art.  It has also really brought to the fore the fact that a drawing does not need to be of an object (its visual appearance) or technically highly accomplished in order covey a message to the viewer.


Author: gbond1104

Studying Drawing 1 as my first course on a BA (Hons) in Painting

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