Deanna Petherbridge – The Primacy of Drawing

Deanna Pethbridge in her studio

Deanna Petherbridge is an artist, writer and curator primarily concerned with drawing. Her recent book The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice is about the direct experience of artists, the historical role of drawing and its relationship to the sciences.

From the publisher’s website:

This important and original book affirms the significance of drawing as visual thinking in western art from the fifteenth century to the present through an examination of its practice: how and why it is made, how it relates to other forms of visual production and theories of art, and what artists themselves have written about it. The author herself is a practicing artist, and through scrutinizing a wide range of drawings in various media, she 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 twentieth century.In the final chapters she address the changing role of drawing in relation to contemporary practice, and its importance for conceptual artists working in a non-hierarchical manner with a multiplicity of practices, techniques and technologies.Quoting the writings of artists from Vasari to Reynolds, Delacroix to Ruskin, Klee and Kandinsky to Beuys, Petherbridge proposes that drawing constitutes a discrete, if engaged, discourse within visual practice, with its own internal economy, its own typologies, codes, systems, materials and strategies of making; its own markets and collectors, its own power relations and self-representations. As well as analyzing specific works by great draughtsmen such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya and Picasso, close attention is paid 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 twentieth and twenty-first centuries.The book is a response to the vibrant rediscovery of drawing as significant practice in studios, exhibitions and art schools, and proposes an ambitious and novel agenda for the study and enjoyment of drawing.

Deanna Petherbridge is giving a series of talks around Australia.

You can also download audio from an interview she gave on the Radio National program Artworks – http://www.abc.net.au/rn/artworks/stories/2011/3147614.htm

Tuesday March 1, 12.30 to 1.30 pm Michelangelo and Mickey Mouse: Drawing Now, Cell block theatre, The National Art School, Sydney – http://www.nas.edu.au/news/whats-on

Saturday March 5, 2pm, Gallery talk in exhibition Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne – http://www.heide.com.au/whats_on/events.php?event=1540

Monday March 7, 6 pm, Book Launch, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne – http://melbourneartnetwork.com.au/2011/02/11/lecture-the-primacy-of-drawing/

Thursday March 10, 1pm, Art forum lecture, ANU School of Art, Canberra – http://soa.anu.edu.au/art-forum

For more details or bookings for any of these events please contact the institution where it is being held. See Deanna Petherbridge’s website for further information on her publications – http://www.deannapetherbridge.com