Drawing in the Present Tense
Claire Gilman and Roger Malbert
This book explores the variety of ways in which contemporary artists from around the world have come to approach drawing as the primary, sometimes the sole, element of their practice, and one which is autonomous: an end in itself rather than a means to an end in another, more substantial medium. In an era of advanced technologies where image production has accelerated – potentially beyond the capacity of human attention – what values can be attributed to the slow, deliberate process of drawing by hand?
The artworks featured in this volume are not confined to traditional tools – one can also draw on a computer, tablet or smartphone, and examples of digital drawing are incorporated into the narrative not as a separate category but as one medium among many. Grouped thematically by specific approaches, including abstraction and figuration, nature and artifice, social observation and critique, with essays and feature spreads for each section, this selection of international artists of diverse backgrounds and experience includes not only recognizable names such as Michael Armitage, Camille Henrot, Robert Longo, Amy Sillman and Kara Walker, but also a host of emerging talents.
Beautifully presented in a visually appealing and tactile format with the feel of an artist’s portfolio, this is an inspiring overview of the best drawing practice today.
Claire Gilman is Chief Curator of The Drawing Center, New York. She has written articles for Art Journal, CAA Reviews, Documents, Frieze and October, as well as authored numerous essays for art books and museum exhibitions. Roger Malbert is a curator and writer, formerly Head of Hayward Touring at the Southbank Centre, London 2000–2018. He has been a judge for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, and his writings have appeared in the Art Newspaper, Times Literary Supplement and Modern Painters. His book Drawing People: The Human Figure in Contemporary Art was published by Thames & Hudson in 2015.