Monday, February 7, 2011

Sculpture and The Secret Life of Drawings

Looking at good drawings is like attending a rehearsal of a play or dance. Looking at master drawings you can see how they are thinking and often 'see' them making choices.

Drawing is the foundation of good sculpture. Drawing, making many, many drawings is how I think through every aspect of a work, from its physical structure to it's emotional content.

I remember the first time I saw an real DaVinci drawing. Only knowing his work from books, it was a weird mix of feelings confronting an original. Disappointment, that it was so tiny, and drawn of both sides! Then anger at the King of England for putting his seals all over it, bigger and darker than the artwork. Finally,  a rushing sense of wonder and tenderness that DaVinci had actually touched this tiny piece of paper, and that this fragile, delicate thing had outlasted entire kingdoms and nations.

The Getty Center has a show of old master drawings called, The Secret Life of Drawings. It is at the Getty Center through Feb 13, 2011. This video shows conservation methods for works on paper.

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