25 February, 2008
Drawing - Zurich
Drawing Now – Drawing Then is the title of an exhibition where Galerie Arndt & Partner Zürich places contemporary positions in drawing alongside those of the old masters. The exhibition takes the premise that drawing is an essential instrument for the internalization of reality and provides basic training in developing an attentive eye. It does not intend to examine the “young masters” in the light of their forbears – either in terms of style or stature – but to inquire into the significance and possibilities of drawing today.
This dialogue with the old masters shows what a changeable practice drawing is, and how its capacity for narrative has developed. Without slavish adherence to methodology, but with a reliable eye for quality, this exhibition presents some very differing artists and therefore some very varied aspects of drawing – drawing as note-taking, as an inventory of the world or as a personal or public commentary.
For contemporary artists drawing has no limits – the drawing is the finished product, an independent work of art, and its narrative space can even break physical boundaries in real space.
The old masters, by contrast, concentrated on observing nature and figures. Their aim was to give physical form to a visual idea, and the drawing was seen as an intermediate stage in the development of the completed work, as a draft or sketch. If the old masters attempted to capture in lines what is, the young masters are also searching for what is not.
But drawing, now as then, is an immediate, sensual and emotional process – for both artist and viewer. A drawing aims to visualize something substantial. Drawing is an intimate act that demonstrates the creative hand or spirit in its raw state. A drawing puts us “onto the scent” of an idea and takes us to its entirety; ideally this idea also engages the senses or the visual sensibility of the viewer. And here the old and young masters meet, and conventional categorization approaches become insignificant. For today as then, a “master drawing” reveals a creative hand guided by an effortless profundity.