Drawing Inspiration: Contemporary British Drawing

4 April - 1 July 2006

This major exhibition explores the role of drawing in contemporary art, featuring works by some of the most important artists working in Britain today. Drawing has traditionally been regarded as secondary to painting or sculpture, but in recent years it has emerged as one of the most exciting and fertile areas of contemporary practice, as new generations of artists explore its possibilities. Revealing the diversity of approaches to drawing, the exhibition will include many established names, such as Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego and Peter Doig, as well as cutting-edge artists who are challenging traditional notions. Figurative drawings will be shown alongside works by abstract artists as well as sculptors, revealing the importance of drawing in a variety of disciplines.

More than 60 artists will be represented, including Roger Ackling, Tony Bevan, Christopher Bramham, Siân Bowen, Matthew Carr, Patrick Caulfield, Lewis Chamberlain, Richard Deacon, Tracey Emin, Derrick Greaves, Nicola Hicks, David Hockney, Andrzej Jackowski, Michael Landy, Christopher Le Brun, Paul McDevitt, David Nash, Paul Noble, Hughie O’Donoghue, Raphael Pepper, Deanna Petherbridge, Stephen Walter, Alison Wilding and Sarah Woodfine, amongst many others.

For some artists it is the expressive power of drawing that is the driving force, for others it is an exercise in scrutinising a subject before tackling it in paint. Drawings are often part of a preparatory process, working towards a ‘finished’ work in another medium, but increasingly many artists are choosing drawing as their main activity and the principle medium for their work. The act of putting pen or pencil to paper can be the most direct and immediate form of expression for an artist, and drawings can give us an insight into the workings of the artist’s mind in a way that a painting or sculpture cannot, revealing the process of reflection, development, struggle, improvisation, ordering or resolving of an idea, thought or image. Bringing together works on loan from artists, dealers, and private collections around the UK, this exhibition aims to open people’s eyes to the possibilities of drawing.


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