Tuesday 16th May – Start of Assignment 3

I have now started my preliminary drawings and generating ideas for my assignment 3 piece. As part of the planning process I have undertaken some further reading of ‘Drawing Now; Eight Propositions’ by Laura Hoptman. I learnt more about Julie Mehertu’s work as well as a new group of artists ‘Los Carpinteros’ (The Carpenters), whose group members are Alexandre Arrecha, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez. I was really impressed with their drawings, which emphasises the mediums applied-arts aspect that they use more for its social symbolism rather than its uses.

In their sculptural practice Los Carpinteros would use traditional, carpentry tools. Their works on paper are mostly buildings. The group also mixes architectural structures with furniture. They produce both finished drawings for their own sake but also ‘to-scale’ working drawings for theoretically constructible monuments and public buildings. Although their works are related to sculpture they are not just developed for that purpose, although I do quite like the idea it is linked to sculpture. Their wall line drawings are often embellished with 3D details that depict buildings, as big as buildings which often create meaningful links – banks, lighthouses, sniper bunkers and prison, all of which I perceive to have a story behind them. Their work is quite conceptual in its meaning. One piece depicts a prison as an enormous bureau stacked with human souls, which can be related to the architecture drawings of  Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Believing that architecture could literally shape its users’ lines these men dreamed of buildings whose design would clearly announce their purpose. This is another abstract view on architecture that made me read twice and could be another tangent to explore. For example a Library could take the form of an open book, a brothel or a phallus. (Hoptman, 2003:48-49)

Upon further research into Etienne’s work it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, the work is abstract and layered, which are techniques I am keen to explore and include in assignment 3. It appears very ‘shape’ based.

I decided I need to get a deeper understanding of Mehretu’s work. She overlays images on the computer and her sources range from both chronological and geographical, superimposing airport plans over Palladian facades, weather maps over stadium seating charts. Using architectural diagrams as a kind of code, Mehretu creates recognisable but unidentifiable cities. I like the fact she draws/ is inspired by cities and actually quite like the idea of drawing on various charts. I did buy some graph paper to explore drawing similar to Mehertu’s technique. Actually, reading this section of the book again seems to make her processes more understanding and I can relate it to my work more. Mehertu is fascinated by transparency and she uses it to depict simultaneity and motion. Motion and movement is something I am keen to explore but is obviously hard to convey when drawing buildings so shall seek to incorporate this in another way, perhaps using the sky. This will be a different approach taken to a number of the typical architectural I have seen which are heavily focussed on heavy/ purposeful structural lines and rigidity in the drawings. I feel I need to analyse her drawings further to get a deeper and better understanding of her processes. I will also be looking at using other inspiration to create block shapes, such as the work of Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux further, as well as Georgina Towler (someone I went to school with and emailed her questions about her work). Exploring Photoshop further like I did for foreground, mid-ground and background drawing is something I anticipate doing.

Hoptman, L. (2003) Drawing Now: eight propositions. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Figure 1. Ledoux, C. (1784) Water Inspector’s House. [drawing] At: http://writingcities.com/2016/01/19/rich-is-right/ (Accessed on 29 December 2017)

Figure 2. Ledoux, C. (1800) Theatre at Besancon [drawing] At: http://writingcities.com/2016/01/19/rich-is-right/ (Accessed on 29 December 2017)

Figure 3. Boullée, E. (1780-81) Perspective View of the Interior of a Metropolitan Church [drawing] At: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Etienne-Louis-Boullee (Accessed on 29 December 2017)

Figure 4. Boullée, E. (1777-85) Architectural Project for the Church of the Madeleine [drawing] http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/78/etienne-louis-boullee-architectural-project-for-the-church-of-the-madeleine-french-1777-to-1785/ (Accessed on 29 December 2017)

Figure 5. Towler, G. (2014) Others have detected more. [installation] At: http://www.georginatowler.com/installation.html (Accessed on 29 December 2017)

Figure 6. Towler, G (2015) Untitled. [acrylic and emulsion on paint] At: http://www.georginatowler.com/painting.html (Accessed on 29 December)

Figure 7. Towler, G. (2016) Pyramid Study – Middle Light Right [acrylic and emulsion on canvas] At: http://www.georginatowler.com/painting.html (Accessed on 29 December)

Figure 8. Towler, G. (2016) Drifting over Icy Mountains Floating By [acrylic and emulsion on canvas] At: http://www.georginatowler.com/painting.html (Accessed on 29 December)

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