Drawing is at the very forefront of contemporary art practice. The radical shift in the treatment and development of drawing since the 1960s has resulted in a renewed status and relevance for it within current practice, with some of the most exciting artistic ideas of the last fifty years indebted to its use. This brand new study into contemporary drawing structures itself around three broad subjects: abstraction and drawing, looking at the way drawing really came into its own at a time when notions of art and the employment of media were radically challenged; drawing as narrative, borrowing and developing ideas on illustration and cartoon art, and investigating the use of drawing with the moving image; and drawing as engagement, with its role in offering a visual description of our environment, as well as the notion of its own physical presence, particularly in relationship to landscape.
Including work by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Richard Serra, Philip Guston, Claes Oldenburg, Len Lye, Gordon Matta-Clarke and Richard Long, the book explores how practitioners have addressed and redefined notions of medium specificity in relation to drawing, and how it has been particularly significant for artists pursuing an interdisciplinary practice. Katharine Stout contextualises the medium within history and with the current treatment of drawing by theoreticians, institutions, the art market, and education systems, concluding that drawing is a popular, diverse and ever evolving medium.