Why Life Drawing?

Curator’s Statement:

Second Annual “Sketch the Moment” Exhibition

Galerie ZeitZone, Adalbertstr 79, 10997 Berlin- March 2-14, 2018

curated by Liz Magno and Jac Carley

In 1971 the art historian/ critic/feminist, Linda Nochlin wrote a ground-breaking article, “ Why have there been no great Women Artists?“ There have been many fine ones and we are finally learning about more of them now, but where is our Michelangelo, our Botticelli or our Reubens? She gives several reasons, beginning with her chapter, “The Question of the Nude“. Her premise was from the Renaissance onward nude or semi-nude figures predominated in painting, although styles changed, from the Gods and Goddesses of Mythology to Historical Dramas, in most cases the most important figures were not wearing much. When we look at art training during these centuries we see that women were not permitted to draw the Nude. They were considered to have such delicate sensibilities they shouldn't be subjected to the shock of seeing naked flesh. This is why Rosa Bonheur, the most famous woman artist in her day honed her skills by drawing muscular Horses, running and jumping.

But why should we care about drawing the Nude today? Because it gives a structural foundation for any art. Take a flat piece of paper. It is empty space. Take a straight line. It is totally neutral. Now curve that line and it begins to conjor up shapes and forms. Now put several of these shapes and and forms together and it begins to look like something that exists or could exist in the world, so regardless of style, drawing the human form gives a whole arsenal of material to work with, and observing the relationships of forms develops thought skills that are unique to the world of art.

All the work in this exhibition was created in or begun from ideas from weekly sessions of „Sketch the Moment“ with Irene Graziadei. There are a quite a few Life Drawing sessions in Berlin but Irene is especially exciting to draw because of the roles she plays and the interesting poses she takes. Her music mix tapes inspire both her and us. For more information pick up one of the “Sketch Moment“ flyers.

Liz Magno