Friday, 27 March 2015

The Drawing Room - 'Drawing Biennial'

Getting back in the swing of things.  Kayla and myself went to London last week for a long overdue visit.  We went to three different galleries soaking up as much inspiration as we could, had a fantastic lunch but most importantly kick-started our passion for this blog once again.  We decided to start off with some review-style posts of the exhibitions we visited, but we also have a very unique (and competitive) way to get ourselves back on track.  So on with part one of my thoughts on The Drawing Room...

Each selected artist has been invited to make an original drawing for the exhibition/auction on an A4 piece of paper, using any medium the artist wishes. All the works are up for auction between the 16-30 April and the exhibition runs until 30th April.  

The method of hanging the works in two rows along each wall gives each piece no more or less weight than the neighboring pieces; each artwork has equal footing within the gallery.  The viewer can allow themselves to be drawn to works of interest to them or walk the perimeter of the gallery, taking in each work one at a time.
From the wide range of artworks at the gallery I have selected some of my favourites to share here and I know Kayla has done the same.  We plan on spreading these out over a couple of posts for each gallery that we visited last Tuesday.
One annoyance I found about the show was the display of the artworks behind a plastic cover.  I appreciated how no piece had prominence over the others, yet it seems unfair to place them behind a shiny surface that in some instances made it difficult to view the works close up due to the glare.

On our visit we wandered around the room, following the alphabetical direction of hanging.  Some pieces I found I glanced over, while others really pulled my attention to them.  I’m not sure how much this has to do with the method of hanging; more colourful, intriguing works drawing you in distracting you from their neighbouring artworks.  Or whether it’s that each viewer is interested by something different in each piece.  As the works in the gallery where arranged alphabetically I thought I would do the same with my blog posts.

One of the first works I was drawn to was Edward Allington’s.  I was initially drawn over by the strong line drawing and cross-hatching, finding the contrast of that and the aged paper background quite striking.  The meshing together of those different visual elements; the drawn and the appropriated leave this A4 paper intriguing.  I found myself wanting to know more about each element and what they meant together on this surface.
Edward Allington; Register of members and small fires. 2014. Ink and emulsion on ledger paper.
A pencil drawing by Kate Atkin was displayed nearby.  This was one of the works that really suffered from being behind a reflective material, it made the tiny marks on the papers surface very difficult to see close up.  

Her black and white pencil drawing is made up of such tiny intricate line work pulling you closer to the papers surface and yet when you take a few steps back the marks blur back into the image, lost among themselves.  The drawing stays intact in both views but you can never seem to appricate both together.
Kate Atkin; Bromley-By-Blow. 2015. Pencil on Paper.
Andrew Bick; #9 2012 #1 2015. Acrylic, Watercolour and Pen on Paper.
Andrew Bick’s drawing is one that I wish didn’t have to play by the A4 size restriction as I think on a larger scale this drawing would have a much stronger presence.  I did however love the depth and kinetic energy in the piece.  I just feel that if it were on a bigger scale, when you stand in front of the surface you would become lost in is fluid colour, geometric shape and busy almost frantic line work that constantly pulls your eye across the paper.

I also really enjoyed the piece by Pedro Cabrita-Reis I like how the elements seem to fuse together on the paper.  His collaged image seems to capture a fleeting moment, appearing as quick and organic decision making on its location on the paper.  Yet the drawn pencil makes appear more deliberate and considered in comparison.  It was also one of the drawings that seemed to greatly benefit its location next to other drawings, as the pink crispness of the flower really stood out next to some more 'traditional' pencil drawings nearby.
Pedro Cabrita-Reis; Random and Straight Lines on Calligraphy plus Collage and Red Wine. 2015. Pencil and Mixed Media.

So that was my first four artists, I plan to spread this exhibition over two more posts so they don't get too long and also have some posts lined up for the exhibitions we visited at the Austin Desmond and Stephen Friedman Galleries.
Have you been to the Drawing Room to see this Exhibition? 
Let us know what you thought of the artworks shown in the comments below.

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