Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hand, eye, and mind

I'm enjoying a book which has reacquainted me with foolscap.  It is a size which has fallen out of favour ever since the adoption of A4 as a standard.  All of my university notes were written on foolscap sheets which I kept in a folder I decorated with psychedelic-patterned Fablon - gosh, more memories. 
So it was lovely to find that Drawing People: The human figure in contemporary art by Roger Malbert comes with enough space to accommodate the illustrations and accompanying text side by side.  There is an interesting introduction, and then a section each on Body, Self, Personal lives, Social reality, and Fictions which all begin with a quote which is expanded with a text before individual examples in double page spread layouts containing image and critical commentary.  Indeed it was a review by Jane Stobart  in Printmaking Today magazine which stated "All art books should be the size of Drawing People.  To see large-scale images is so refreshing."
I like Stobart's work, and have read some of her writing, so am inclined to take notice of what she says.  It was her statement that "Traditionalists may fine the nature of some of the featured drawings challenging, but I believe this book should grace the shelves of every art college library.  It successfully represents contemporary thinking within cutting edge." which led me to order the book.  I'm always keen to try to understand how art thinking and manifestation develops.
I have not got very far yet, but not only does the book feel good, being beautifully produced, but I am finding it absorbing to read in chunks, as well as attractive to pick up and delve randomly in between doing other things.  Much to mull over with my mulled fruit drink!


  1. Yet more book-buying temptation. My groaning shelves are at the one-in/one-out stage, so I'll resist for now, and put it on the wish list instead.
    btw the V&A has a nice little exhibition (at the back corner of the 3rd floor) on contemporary portraiture, till 24 April.

  2. I know what you mean about groaning shelves, and I do restrain myself, ... really. Yes, I do hope to get to the V&A before that exhibition ends. I particularly want to see the Ellen Heck print.

    1. Several prints of her Forty Fridas series are shown - they are delightful! On Weds 2 March there's a lunchtime lecture about the exhibition.

    2. Thanks, Margaret - even more reason to try to make it up there. I shall enjoy visiting the relatively new ceramics gallery again too.