Saturday, December 12, 2009

Contemporary Drawing at the MOMA New York

Amelie Von Wulffen copyright 2009

To better understand the state of contemporary drawing practice, I visited the show "Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection" now on at the MOMA. Curator Christian Rattemeyer selected from this collection of 2500 drawings to present several hundred works. Contemporary artists from around the world are represented but are mostly clustered from New York, LA, UK, and Germany. Divided into abstraction and figuration, the work illustrates the fact that artists have stepped outside the traditional definition of drawing on paper to include the use of unconventional media, with many incorporating collage and appropriated images into their work. Really, anything goes these days!!

My favourite pair of images were by Elizabeth Peyton and David Hockney. Although somewhat traditional in style compared to what was on display elsewhere, the simplicity and elegance of their line was captivating to me. Another image that still haunts me is an emaciated horse and rider created out of cigarettes, although I cannot recall the name of the artist.

This exhibition is beautifully hung and there is lots of space to stand back and appreciate the work. If you are interested in contemporary drawing practice, this show is well worth a visit. And if you cannot make it to the MOMA before the show closes on January 4, 2009, the MOMA website includes an enlightening video with the curator.