The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice

The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice

by Deanna Petherbridge
     
 

In this important and original book, Deanna Petherbridge—herself a practicing artist—affirms the significance of drawing as visual thinking in western art from the 15th century to the present. Scrutinizing a wide range of drawings, Petherbridge confirms a long historical commitment to the primal importance of sketching in generating ideas and problem

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Overview

In this important and original book, Deanna Petherbridge—herself a practicing artist—affirms the significance of drawing as visual thinking in western art from the 15th century to the present. Scrutinizing a wide range of drawings, Petherbridge confirms a long historical commitment to the primal importance of sketching in generating ideas and problem solving, examines the production of autonomous drawings as gifts or for pleasure, and traces the importance of the life-class and theories of drawing in the training of artists until well into the 20th century. She also addresses the changing role of drawing in relation to contemporary practice and its importance for conceptual artists working in a nonhierarchical manner with a multiplicity of practices, techniques and technologies.
 
In addition to analyzing specific works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, and other great draftsmen, Petherbridge pays close attention to those artists traditionally regarded as “minor” because of their graphic elaboration or involvement with caricature and play, as well as to the important contribution of women artists in the 20th and 21st centuries. Responding to the vibrant rediscovery of drawing as significant practice in studios, exhibitions, and art schools, Petherbridge proposes an ambitious and novel agenda for the study and enjoyment of drawing.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

"This beautifully produced book greatly expands the nature and ambition of most drawing exhibition catalogues. Petherbridge combines the keen eye of a curator with the sensitivity and technical understanding of a practicing artist. . . . This handsome volume is a delight to peruse and a rich resource for anyone interested in drawing."—W. E. Wallace, CHOICE

— W. E. Wallace

San Francisco Chronicle

"A dazzling selection."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

— Kenneth Baker

CHOICE - W. E. Wallace
"This beautifully produced book greatly expands the nature and ambition of most drawing exhibition catalogues. Petherbridge combines the keen eye of a curator with the sensitivity and technical understanding of a practicing artist. . . . This handsome volume is a delight to peruse and a rich resource for anyone interested in drawing."—W. E. Wallace, CHOICE
San Francisco Chronicle - Kenneth Baker
"A dazzling selection."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
Library Journal
Artist Petherbridge explores the many facets of drawing in this extensive and thoroughly researched volume. She considers the idea that drawing is the basis of all art and visual thinking and examines this art form not chronologically but thematically. She ascribes to traditional art history, studying iconology and social history, but reframes it in relation to the terms of drawing practice in what she calls a "trans historicism," making unexpected connections outside of categories of periodization. For example, in her chapter on drawing strategies, when focusing on the economy of form in drawing, Petherbridge compares the precise and clean outlines used by both Ingres and Matisse to achieve similar formal effects. In chapters such as "Drawing as Discipline" and "Drawing the Self," she compares drawings from different artists and periods to illustrate similar iconographic and formal issues. VERDICT This well-thought-out and intelligent book is recommended for anyone interested in drawings or the practice of drawing.—Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300126464
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
07/13/2010
Pages:
524
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 11.70(h) x 2.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Deanna Petherbridge is a practising artist. She was formerly Professor of Drawing at the Royal College of Art and is now Visiting Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts London.

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