Unreal Lines, Real Feelings

Introduction to Drawing: Unreal Lines, Real Feelings

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Subjects of Research: Artist as Subject, Artist as Model, Cave Drawings, Copying and Replicating (Human Xerox Machine), Drawing Machines, Drawing as Sensation, History of Drawing, Non-Perspective Drawing, Real-ish Things (The Still Life).

 

Even as we engage traditional structures of approaching the mark (artist model, still-life, replication), our sense of what comprises drawing should buckle, collapse, and reconstitute itself. Please abolish all of your preconceptions of how we draw and what we draw. Together, we will do this by expanding our notion of what makes a line (i.e.: graphite, blood, boat, router, string…) and what takes the line (i.e. paper, street, water, humans). We will trace the sources of our material (graphite foraged in Northern Mexico or shipped from Sri Lanka, hand-made charcoal or conflict charcoal produced in Central Africa; recycled paper or finely milled, birch bark, or standard 9 x 11 printing paper).

 

A contemporary overview of expanded drawing practice will include works such as Richard Long’s “A Line Made by Walking”(1967), Mierles Ukeles Laderman’s collaboration with tug boat captains (1984), and Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi (2005-); Mark Lombardi’s diagrams of how power is brokered (2000) ,Robin Rhode’s chalk drawings (1998-) that moonlight as performances; Santiago Sierra’s tattooing a continuous line on  the bodies of drug addicts (1998-) and Fred Sandback’s preoccupation with the line as both drawing and sculpture (1967-2003). Sandback perceived his work as a drawing that is habitable. Together, as a class, we can try to figure out how to live in the line, as suggested by Sandback, but we can also determine the lure of the uninhabitable mark as well.

 

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Introduction to Drawing: Unreal Lines, Real Feelings

Fall 2014

Professor: Mary Walling Blackburn

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Subjects of Research: Artist as Subject, Artist as Model, Cave Drawings, Copying and Replicating (Human Xerox Machine), Drawing Machines, Drawing as Sensation, History of Drawing, Non-Perspective Drawing, Real-ish Things (The Still Life).

Even as we engage traditional structures of approaching the mark (artist model, still-life, replication), our sense of what comprises drawing should buckle, collapse, and reconstitute itself. Please abolish all of your preconceptions of how we draw and what we draw. Together, we will do this by expanding our notion of what makes a line (i.e.: graphite, blood, boat, router, string…) and what takes the line (i.e. paper, street, water, humans). We will trace the sources of our material (graphite foraged in Northern Mexico or shipped from Sri Lanka, hand-made charcoal or conflict charcoal produced in Central Africa; recycled paper or finely milled, birch bark, or standard 9 x 11 printing paper).

A contemporary overview of expanded drawing practice will include works such as Richard Long’s “A Line Made by Walking”(1967), Mierles Ukeles Laderman’s collaboration with tug boat captains (1984), and Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi (2005-); Mark Lombardi’s diagrams of how power is brokered (2000) ,Robin Rhode’s chalk drawings (1998-) that moonlight as performances; Santiago Sierra’s tattooing a continuous line on  the bodies of drug addicts (1998-) and Fred Sandback’s preoccupation with the line as both drawing and sculpture (1967-2003). Sandback perceived his work as a drawing that is habitable. Together, as a class, we can try to figure out how to live in the line, as suggested by Sandback, but we can also determine the lure of the uninhabitable mark as well.

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COURSE MATERIALS * INTRODUCTION * CLASS STRUCTURE

Each class will begin with a collective drawing exercise, followed by a lecture featuring various approaches to drawing and artists’ works that feature or incorporate mark making. A longer drawing exercise will extend to the end of class excepting days when critiques are held.

Understand that we will engage in life drawing which features nude models, as well as creating still-lives and sometimes we will travel off-campus to museums to copy and cultural sites to draw plein air.

Sketchbook

You will construct your own sketchbook of 100 pages out of found materials (recycled paper, binding tape). You will make one drawing each day this Fall. You will decide whether these drawings will be autobiographical, describe daily instances, reproduce existing paintings and sculptures, or focus on a certain set of objects. In class, we will examine the journal sketches of Italian mannerist Pontormo (1494-1557), along with the marginalia of other cultural producer’s notebooks ranging from Commander Mervyn Scott Lindslay ‘s sketchbook whilst a prisoner of the Japanese at North Point Camp in Hong Kong from 1942 to 1945 to the notebooks of artists Lee Lozano, Louise Bourgeois, John Sargent and Edvard Munch; from presidential doodles to Sultan Mehmet II’s journal, and finally a set of 40 autobiographical pencil drawings known as Oscar’s sketchbook (authored by a 19th century Australian Aborigine identified only by his name and purported hometown (Cookstown, Queensland)).

Supplies

Please note that we will trace the sources of our material (be it graphite foraged in northern Mexico or shipped from Sri Lanka, hand-made charcoal or conflict charcoal produced in Central Africa, recycled paper, birch bark, or standard 9 x 11 printing paper, the life cycle of the ink cartridges (raw material its sourced from, their production and disposal), the origin of chalks and our own production of pigment.

Unless specified beforehand, always bring a collection of at least three different drawing implements of your choosing with you to class (e.g. charcoal, pencil, and pen), as well as at least three sets of papers of different sizes and attributes (e.g. newsprint, graph paper, watercolor paper.) Go to the art supply store, look through the paper stock, and experiment with size, weight, and texture. Additionally, expect to continue to produce your own materials when necessary over the course of the term. In the initial weeks, various recipes for these supplies will be distributed.

IN CLASS WORK

 Beginning

Together, on our first day, we will still our hand, returning to the earliest gestures, observing cave art (BCE 40,800) from Cueva de El Castillo and viewing excerpts from Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams and documentation of drawings in Texas’s White Shaman and Panther Cave. These first marks will saturate our thinking. What is the most economic line? What sensations does a stark drawing engender? And when is it too lean, ungenerous…? What can we learn about light/dark and soft/hard from these works? Moreover, let us consider surface. Why should paper always take the mark? Let’s investigate other sites to mark and to view.

Possible Lecture Materials

Our lecture materials will include a wide-ranging survey of mark making within contemporary art. We will touch upon shaker spirit drawings, Lakota ledger book drawings, medicinal tattooing, and Hilma Af Klint’s mystic works. We will examine the sketchbooks of artists, such as William Blake, Lee Lozano, Ree Morton, Edvard Munch, Jon Sargent, and ‘Oscar’s sketchbook’ in order to ascertain the range of approach to the working notebook. We will look at institutionally supported artists such as Mark Lombardi, Maria Lassnig, David Hammons, Kim Jones, and Otto Dix as well as Bauhaus curricula and European surrealist drawing tactics.

An overview of expanded drawing practice will include but is not limited to works such as Ariella Azoulay’s Different Ways Not to Say Deportation, Regina Jose Galindo’s ¿Quien Peude Borrar Las Huellas? A Walk from the Court Of Constitutionality to the National Palace of Guatemala (2003) Richard Long’s A Line Made by Walking (1967), Teresa Margoles’ Papeles de la Morgue, Frances Alys’ Green Line (2005), Mierles Ukeles Laderman’s collaboration with tugboat captains (1984) and Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi (2005-). Finally, we will consider Fred Sandback’s preoccupation with the line as something habitable.

 FINAL PROJECTS

Project proposals shall be turned in at mid term. Proposals will include projects that are both private (campus) and public (within the city) iterations. The final work will be exhibited in either both locations or one (as determined in consultation with Dallas community members, course participants, and SMU administration) in the final two weeks of the course.

GRADING

Assessment is primarily determined by the quantity of sketches and drawings produced over the term— “grading by the pound”. Your sketchbook, containing at minimum100 drawings, must be complete, scanned and uploaded to the free social media site ISSU, by the end of the term. At mid-term you will scan and submit the first half of your sketchbook. These drawings will need to be mindful of critical content, aesthetic inquiry, and vulnerability. Classroom participation includes producing work in-class, engaging in others’ work during critiques, discussing the screened works, and a commitment to the exercises conducted in class.

 CLASS STRUCTURE

 Each class will begin with a collective drawing exercise, followed by a lecture featuring various approaches to drawing and artists’ works that feature or incorporate mark making. A longer drawing exercise will extend to the end of class excepting days when critiques are held.

Understand that we will engage in life drawing which features nude models, as well as creating still-lives and sometimes we will travel off-campus to museums to copy and cultural sites to draw plein air.

Sketchbook

You will construct your own sketchbook of 100 pages out of found materials (recycled paper, binding tape). You will make one drawing each day this Fall. You will decide whether these drawings will be autobiographical, describe daily instances, reproduce existing paintings and sculptures, or focus on a certain set of objects. In class, we will examine the journal sketches of Italian mannerist Pontormo (1494-1557), along with the marginalia of other cultural producer’s notebooks ranging from Commander Mervyn Scott Lindslay ‘s sketchbook whilst a prisoner of the Japanese at North Point Camp in Hong Kong from 1942 to 1945 to the notebooks of artists Lee Lozano, Louise Bourgeois, John Sargent and Edvard Munch; from presidential doodles to Sultan Mehmet II’s journal, and finally a set of 40 autobiographical pencil drawings known as Oscar’s sketchbook (authored by a 19th century Australian Aborigine identified only by his name and purported hometown (Cookstown, Queensland)).

 Supplies

Please note that we will trace the sources of our material (be it graphite foraged in northern Mexico or shipped from Sri Lanka, hand-made charcoal or conflict charcoal produced in Central Africa, recycled paper, birch bark, or standard 9 x 11 printing paper, the life cycle of the ink cartridges (raw material its sourced from, their production and disposal), the origin of chalks and our own production of pigment.

Unless specified beforehand, always bring a collection of at least three different drawing implements of your choosing with you to class (e.g. charcoal, pencil, and pen), as well as at least three sets of papers of different sizes and attributes (e.g. newsprint, graph paper, watercolor paper.) Go to the art supply store, look through the paper stock, and experiment with size, weight, and texture. Additionally, expect to continue to produce your own materials when necessary over the course of the term. In the initial weeks, various recipes for these supplies will be distributed.

 IN CLASS WORK

Beginning

Together, on our first day, we will still our hand, returning to the earliest gestures, observing cave art (BCE 40,800) from Cueva de El Castillo and viewing excerpts from Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams and documentation of drawings in Texas’s White Shaman and Panther Cave. These first marks will saturate our thinking. What is the most economic line? What sensations does a stark drawing engender? And when is it too lean, ungenerous…? What can we learn about light/dark and soft/hard from these works? Moreover, let us consider surface. Why should paper always take the mark? Let’s investigate other sites to mark and to view.

 Possible Lecture Materials

 Our lecture materials will include a wide-ranging survey of mark making within contemporary art. We will touch upon shaker spirit drawings, Lakota ledger book drawings, medicinal tattooing, and Hilma Af Klint’s mystic works. We will examine the sketchbooks of artists, such as William Blake, Lee Lozano, Ree Morton, Edvard Munch, Jon Sargent, and ‘Oscar’s sketchbook’ in order to ascertain the range of approach to the working notebook. We will look at institutionally supported artists such as Mark Lombardi, Maria Lassnig, David Hammons, Kim Jones, and Otto Dix as well as Bauhaus curricula and European surrealist drawing tactics.

An overview of expanded drawing practice will include but is not limited to works such as Ariella Azoulay’s Different Ways Not to Say Deportation, Regina Jose Galindo’s ¿Quien Peude Borrar Las Huellas? A Walk from the Court Of Constitutionality to the National Palace of Guatemala (2003) Richard Long’s A Line Made by Walking (1967), Teresa Margoles’ Papeles de la Morgue, Frances Alys’ Green Line (2005), Mierles Ukeles Laderman’s collaboration with tugboat captains (1984) and Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi (2005-). Finally, we will consider Fred Sandback’s preoccupation with the line as something habitable.

 FINAL PROJECTS

Project proposals shall be turned in at mid term. Proposals will include projects that are both private (campus) and public (within the city) iterations. The final work will be exhibited in either both locations or one (as determined in consultation with Dallas community members, course participants, and SMU administration) in the final two weeks of the course.

 GRADING

Assessment is primarily determined by the quantity of sketches and drawings produced over the term— “grading by the pound”. Your sketchbook, containing at minimum100 drawings, must be complete, scanned and uploaded to the free social media site ISSU, by the end of the term. At mid-term you will scan and submit the first half of your sketchbook. These drawings will need to be mindful of critical content, aesthetic inquiry, and vulnerability. Classroom participation includes producing work in-class, engaging in others’ work during critiques, discussing the screened works, and a commitment to the exercises conducted in class.

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