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From Two to Three Dimensions

From Two to Three Dimensions

The exhibition “Sculptors’ Drawings and Works on Paper” is currently showing at Kings Place beside London’s King’s Cross station. It is a collaborative initiative between the two galleries located in the venue: Pangolin and Kings Place Gallery.

Nico Widerberg, “Vekst” (2012), Lithograph, Courtesy of the artist/University Gallery, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

What do we know about sculptors’ drawings? Most of us have seen Henry Moore ‘s famous drawings, such as the Mother and Child series, or Rodin’s drawings, which can be admired at the Musée Rodin in Paris. While both Rodin and Moore were prolific draughtsmen, it is not a required skill for most sculptors. They use drawings for various purposes. The work on paper can be very spontaneous because it allows the artist to try out new ideas and to experiment. Often, drawings are preparatory works and sketches. This is the case of the exhibited drawing from Belgian artist, Olivier Strebelle, well known for having created the monumental sculpture for the Olympic Games site in Beijing in 2008.

Olivier Strebelle, “Preparatory Drawing for ‘Anthropomotion’” (1967), Pencil on paper, Image supplied by and reproduced courtesy of Olivier Strebelle

What is the role of a drawing in communicating a three dimensional object? This is a fascinating topic to explore particularly in the context of such a monumental exhibition, showing around 200 works on paper dating from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Works by influential British and International sculptors, such as Aristide Maillol, Oscar Nemon, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi , Picasso, Alexander Calder, Jean Arp, Naum Gabo, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Eric Gill, are presented. Some of these pieces are not for sale but it is important to see them all together to have a broader view of the diversity of approaches, ranges of style, and distinctive

Naum Gabo, “Opus 5” (1951), Woodcut, Photography by Steve Russell Studios Ltd and reproduced by kind permission of the artist and their estates

Alongside these works, there are many interesting pieces including collages, prints, and computer-aided graphics created by contemporary sculptors, established and emerging. An example is Glenys Barton’s work centred on the human form and the head in particular.

Glenys Barton, “There is No Such Thing IV” (1996), Pencil drawing, Image supplied by and reproduced courtesy of Glenys Barton

The galleries have also chosen to include five Damien Hirst drawings in the exhibition, including the shark piece “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living“. An exclusive Damien Hirst limited edition print, created for the exhibition, is also available for sale.

There is a very nice catalogue supported by the exhibition’s corporate sponsor, the asset management firm Henderson Global Investors. Many of the drawings shown are for sale, with prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to £23,000. The exhibition is open until 12 October 2012 .