Drawing in the Twenty-First Century : The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Practice book cover
1st Edition

Drawing in the Twenty-First Century
The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Practice

ISBN 9781138564862
Published May 23, 2019 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

As a response to the ubiquity of drawing in contemporary consciousness and a corresponding dearth of critical engagement with the medium, these collected essays provide original interpretations of artists' drawing today. Questions of process, politics, scale, and community raised in the work of the diverse group of artists are situated within the historic discourse on drawing and demonstrate the extent to which contemporary practice challenges previous definitions of the medium. From the room-encompassing drawings of Monika Grzymala and Barbara Bernstein or Sophie Calle's expansive exploration of the Jerusalem eruv to Andrea Bowers's graphite renditions of protest to Ellsworth Kelly's proposal for a memorial to September 11, the essays explore the implications of drawings' departure from the confines of a sheet of paper. Essential reading for both the academic and general audience, this book provides in-depth discussions of artists and projects that have never been treated in a sustained, analytical way; each essay will interest the wider contemporary art audience, as well as students of drawing. Taken as a whole, the volume represents a pertinent and stimulating engagement with issues of paramount importance to our understanding of contemporary art and its place in museums, galleries, and the public sphere.

Table of Contents

Contents: Purpose, practice, and performance, Elizabeth A. Pergam; A photorealism fit for politics: the transformative drawing of Andrea Bowers, Peter R. Kalb; The Eruv: urban drawing, social structure, Ben Schachter; Walk the line: Katie Holten and Mariateresa Sartori on the Lower East Side, Kathy Battista; The minimal as spectacle: contemporary drawing and installation art, Anna Lovatt; Drawing a breath, Barbara Bernstein; A green mound for ground zero: Ellsworth Kelly’s 9/11 proposal, Tricia Y. Paik; A drawing tradition renewed: reclaiming Charles Bargue’s Cours de Dessin, Peter Trippi; ‘The Binding Line’: a conversation with Allegra Pesenti, Curator at Large, The Menil Drawing Institute, The Menil Collection; Drawings on display, Elizabeth A. Pergam; Selected bibliography; Index.

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Elizabeth A. Pergam is on the faculty of Art Business and American Fine and Decorative Art, Sotheby's Institute of Art, New York, USA.


'Drawing in the Twenty-First Century provides a thought-provoking collection of essays that demonstrates unique ways that artists exploit drawing's associations with line, immediacy, modesty of means, and didactics to address contemporary concerns from the political to the poetic. Furthermore, the essays examine drawing's definition over time, and the recent history of drawing exhibitions and publications that have signaled the medium's increasing relevance in art of the twenty-first century. Pergam's compendium is an excellent contribution to the contemporary discourse on drawing.' Leslie Jones, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA

'A necessary and provocative conversation on post-modernist drawings, and the many contemporary artists who re-define its practice. Drawing now crosses a broad spectrum of aesthetic expressions, leaving its mark well beyond paper and pencil.' Dita Amory, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA