faces to watch in the art world 10 Deanna Petherbridge
Tuesday 05 December 1995
Since David Hockney's recent lament on the supposed desuetude of drawing, the practice is back on the agenda. For Petherbridge, it never went away. "Drawing," she says, "is the passion of my life." She is writing a book on the subject, she has selected exhibitions of modern and historical drawings, and she herself is a virtuoso technician. Recently, she has been drawing the cavernous, Piranesian interior of Bankside power station, before the Tate starts work on the place.
Audiences for the recent "Drawing the Line" travelling show, selected by Michael Craig-Martin, and for Petherbridge's earlier selection of drawings, "The Primacy of Drawing", have been large. People like looking maybe because the means, if not the aspirations of draughtsmen and women, seem graspable, intimate, quotidian. Drawing is essentially a private art, and one to which artists often return at pivotal moments in their careers.
Petherbridge also thinks, like Hockney, that the new technologies have a lot to learn from the low-tech art of drawing, but takes little comfort in the fact that students of Design, rather than of Fine Art, pack her classes. But can our hottest young artists draw, and if they can't, does it matter? Drawing is a core activity, feels Petherbridge: it is visual thinking, idea made concrete with the most primitive tools. A great deal of contemporary painting aspires, she believes, to the condition of drawing - to its spontaneity and immediacy. But without a sense of the history and breadth of the oldest of all artistic practices, 20th-century artists are forever doomed to repeat themselves. "You can't keep rediscovering Malevich and Duchamp," she says. Without drawing, art itself could turn into a kind of Death Room.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture