Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love figure drawing

Paul Cadmus, 1970 (born 1904)

I love good figure drawing.

I like it tight....

Primo Conti, 1970 (born 1900)

.... and I like it loose

But I don't like it
when it loses its page/space/force
and just records the details of a subject.

Like each and every drawing
in this
of neo-academics.

Is there some unwritten rule
that everyone born after 1940
has to treat figure drawing
as either a tedious inventory of details
or a desparate opportunity for self expression ?


Note concerning Primo Conti:
I discovered him on this
incredible website of Fascist/Communist art from the 1930's.

Alas -- Primo worked for the Fascists,
perhaps, like many Futurists,
finding their dynamic spirit invigorating.

But he spent the decade after the war as a Franciscan,
so perhaps he repented his evil ways.


Blogger Lori Witzel said...

When I see much contemporary figure drawing, I'm reminded of the times I spent doing master copies from Ingres.

The way he rendered form has nothing to do with anatomy -- he fooled your eye into thinking his POV was Truth. And it was -- it was Ingres' truth.

And somehow much current figure drawing is all about verisimilitude, and not about the real truth, the truth of an artist's POV.

(Whew, you got my opinions all stirred up there!)

August 22, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Yes -- "Fooling your eyes" - so that you think you're seeing (and enjoying!) the real world -- through someone else's brain-- that's what I want.

Maybe I'll have to start a new website devoted to 20th C. live figure drawing!

There would be some iconic Modernists in there (Picasso, Matisse) -- but probably lots of unknowns and amateurs as well.

We Euro-types should cultivate/respect/collect this genre -- as much as Chinese Mandarins have done with their calligraphy.

August 23, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Go for it Chris.

August 25, 2008  

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