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Defining drawing

Last summer I visited Tate St Ives and saw an exhibition by Lily Van der Stokker. There is a video about the exhibition here. Van der Stokker had taken some her of her paintings and made them into installations. There was a distinction made between these two art forms within the exhibition, although they were also clearly linked.

I was reminded of this exhibition when I watched the following on an edition of the Culture Show late last year:

This exhibition at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), Drawing in progress, showcases what work the museum has collected to date. There has been a focus on collecting work by post-war American artists.

The artist who created one of the works exhibited, Lawrence Weiner, is interviewed during the film. The section regarding his work starts at 5:17 on the linked clip. The interview with Weiner debates whether or not the text piece that he had created, and which was installed on the external windows of the mima building, was a drawing or an installation.

The very fact that the piece has been installed on this large scale in vinyl makes it, to me, an installation rather than a drawing. The artist has not ?drawn? the piece onto the building. The idea may have begun as a drawing, but it has developed into something else. A series of processes had taken place in order for the work to be created, it did not just involve drawing.

Nearly all visual ideas start life as a drawing (such Weiner?s piece), but when the end result is not the original drawing it becomes something else (such as an installation, sculpture or video). I am not taking anything away from the work. I would indeed argue that, as Weiner hand-drew the font used for the text, the work did originate as a drawing.

The work has however developed to be cut from vinyl and installed to operate within a three dimensional space. I would define drawing as operating within two dimensional space. This to me is the challenge of drawing. The most innovative drawings are the ones that stick to two dimensions and yet still manage to excite, challenge and do the unexpected.

What are your thoughts on what constitutes a drawing, and how this should be defined? I feel that my opinion is traditional rather than old-fashioned; or am I just an old prude?!?

#Middlesbrough #mima #Drawing #Contemporary #LilyVanderStokker #TateStIves #LawrenceWeiner #Drawinginprogress #Postwarart #Text #Vinyl #Installation

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