This workshop was organised by the Art History and Visual Cultures research centre in partnership with The Courtauld Insitute’s research seminar. Space constraints in the Courtauld’s print room meant that it was by invitation only.
The act of drawing is a journey of discovery. Whether the artist is working from a model, memory or the imagination, the process of drawing offers a series of encounters between what is sought and what surprises along the way. The sheet of paper becomes the record of these encounters, capturing a moment in time. For viewers, the immediacy of drawing thus provides a greater intimacy with its creator. It also provides contemporary artists with an invaluable glimpse into the mind of their predecessors.
Drawing Together seeks to stimulate new insights by presenting unexpected pairings of drawings from The Courtauld Gallery’s collection and by living artists. These pairings reveal inevitable contrasts, but also highlight underlying similarities in the exploratory processes of artists across centuries. The timeless quality of drawing allows for stimulating comparisons that transcend function and period. For example, Hans Hartung’s improvisational abstract drawing echoes the dynamism found in the private sketchbook of George Romney, who worked two centuries earlier. In both, unexpected forms emerge from their loose and open handling of drawing.
A group of leading academics, curators and artists, together with Phd students from Kent, met in The Courtauld Gallery’s print room to examine drawings with the following talking points in mind:
• Does drawing occur in an ‘ongoing present’?
• Is drawing an ideal medium for artistic dialogue?
• How revealing is it to juxtapose drawings by artists from different historical periods?
This was then followed by a tour of the exhibition Drawing Together (curated by Ben Thomas) in the Drawings Gallery of The Courtauld Gallery:
- Angelamaria Aceto (Ashmolean Museum)
- Professor Howard Bowman (Universities of Birmingham and of Kent)
- Giacomo Damiano (University of Kent)
- Andrea Fredericksen (UCL Art Museum)
- Ketty Gottardo (Courtauld Galleries)
- Kostas Gravanis (University of Kent)
- Professor Paul Hills (Courtauld Institute)
- Ed Krcma (UEA)
- Claudia La Malfa (American University Rome)
- Scott Nethersole (Courtauld Institute)
- Guido Rebecchini (Courtauld Institute)
- Humphrey Ocean RA
- Anita Sganzerla (Courtauld Institute)
- Antje Southern (Royal Drawing School)
- Ben Thomas (University of Kent)
- Professor Catherine Whistler (Ashmolean Museum)