sexta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2019

Umbra: Shadow Drawings

" On the origin of drawing in a shadow

The story of the origin of drawing, as told by Pliny, the Elder (2), states that the fixing of the contours of the shadow of a human profile on a wall, a portrait made by a Corinthian maid to serve as remembrance of her departing loved one, was the beginning of the figurative arts of the ancients. A fugitive form is made into a fixed pattern, as an aide-mémoire of the heart, both the sign of and the “replenishment”, that is, the negation of an absence. This kind of duality of the sign, at the same time “full” and “void”, revealing a dialectics of presence and absence, is inscribed in all drawings, whether imaginative, “realistic” or representational, and non-representational as well, a division or classification that loses much of its final character when we focus on the essentially “reductive” aspects of drawing, its confinement on the two-dimensional field and the relative paucity or simplicity of means (material and ideal) employed. Which are, on the other hand, precisely the conditions of drawing’s flexibility and of its synthetic powers."

Marcelo Guimaraes Lima - UMBRA : Shadow Drawings
read the complete essay here

terça-feira, 5 de junho de 2018

On drawing

Marcelo Guimarães Lima

On  drawing in general

We can situate the origin of drawing in the process of human development and the early graphic activities related to neuromotor and perceptive developments of the species, activties and forms of behaviour at the source, among other modalities, of the various graphical forms of communication which "culminate", so to speak, historically in writing.

Thus considered, drawing, that is, the graphic act, its procedures and results, is an  important element of human intellectual and emotional life; it is both the source and the product of developments of perception, of manual ability, of symbolization, and of the interrelated capacities of cognition and expression in social life.
This characterization is relevant for the understanding of drawing as an artistic discipline in our time, as the cultural context today, marked by technological development, transforms the disciplines, pressing their boundaries as it modifies our means of knowledge, communication and expression, relating and transforming in depth the "means of production" in general, and consequently our material and symbolic ways of life.

On drawing as art

Drawing is both form and discipline. The autonomous discipline (that is, drawing considered and appreciated by itself) is based on the form which is also an "infrastructural" element of several other disciplines such as painting, design, architecture, etc. In the comparison and distinction between, for example, drawing and painting, it has  been said that drawing is what remains of painting when color is removed. An operation that emphasizes the ideal nature or ideal element characteristic of drawing - a more abstract element by contrast to the essential, unmediated sensuality of painting - and also discloses  drawing as an initial moment, level or basic element of the visual creation of forms in the arts of spatial representation , including the arts of space-time experience such as dance, film, among others.

Point → Line → Plane → Figure, the primary generative elements of spatial analysis and representation appear in drawing as "concrete abstractions" and characterize its  essential functions of mediation in the process of mapping space-time relations, in processes of  identification and projection, in the construction of  the experience of self and of the world.

If we remove the element of color from painting, what remains is the delimitation of forms by the essential, "primitive" contrast between light and shadow. In this way, drawing can be considered as the elementary or primary way of graphical organization of the relations between lights and darks generating the forms and the rhythms of  spatial representation.

As an autonomous or artistic form, drawing is also a "last" or final form, both synthetic and dynamic, that is, based on a relative economy of means, self-sufficient and, at the same time, implying a space of future developments as a generative form (the same consideration applies to the use of color in the drawing). Drawing is concomitantly and essentially, both complete and incomplete form and process, the embodiment of an essential tension between being and becoming. As  synthesis and, at the same time, as the overcoming of form by form, drawing is art itself.

Portuguese text

sexta-feira, 1 de junho de 2018

Historic publication of Munch's drawings

from the Munch Museum site: 

For the first time ever, Edvard Munch's drawings are collected and published in the Munch Museum's digital catalogue. Drawings are the cornerstone of Munch's art. He would draw constantly and almost everywhere he went. Munch drew family and friends, children and workers, the Bourgeoisie and the Bohemians, mermaids and Madonnas. He saved almost everything, from simple sketches to complex motifs. Using the digital catalogue, you can get to know Munch as a draftsman without leaving the comfort of your own home.
The catalogue consists of more than 7600 drawings. Among them, over 90 percent are in the Munch Museum's collection. The majority of the artworks are mostly unknown; only a few have previously been shown in exhibitions. Studying these drawings is great opportunity to get close to Munch's art, providing fascinating insight into his artistic process. You can follow the development of his characteristic style throughout different periods of his artistic career, and explore the evolution of some of his most iconic artworks, such as The Scream.

Sobre o desenho

Marcelo Guimarães Lima

Do desenho em geral

Em sentido geral, podemos afirmar que o desenho emerge no processo de desenvolvimento humano da atividade gráfica relacionada ao desenvolvimento neuromotor e perceptivo da especie, na origem, entre outras modalidades, das varias formas gráficas de comunicação as quais “culminam”, por assim dizer, na escrita.

Assim considerado, o desenho - o ato gráfico, seus meios e seus resultados - e’ elemento da vida intelectual e emocional, origem e resultado do desenvolvimento da percepção, da habilidade manual, da simbolização, das capacidades inter-relacionadas de cognição e expressão na vida de relação característica das sociedades humanas.

Esta caracterização ganha importância para a compreensão do desenho como disciplina artística em nosso tempo na medida em que o contexto cultural hoje, marcado pelo desenvolvimento tecnológico, transforma as disciplinas e suas fronteiras, os meios de conhecimento, comunicação e expressão, relaciona e transforma em profundidade os “meios produtivos” considerados de modo geral e consequentemente as formas materiais e simbólicas de vida.

Do desenho-arte

O desenho e’ forma e disciplina artística. A forma esta’ na base da disciplina autônoma, isto e’, do desenho considerado e apreciado por si, e na base, como elemento “ infraestrutural”, de varias outras disciplinas como a pintura, o design, a arquitetura, etc.

Na comparação e distinção entre, por exemplo, o desenho e a pintura, já se disse que o desenho seria o que resta da pintura quando retiramos dela a cor. Operação que faz ressaltar o elemento ideal  da forma próprio do desenho - elemento mais abstrato por contraste `a sensualidade essencial da pintura- e, igualmente, evidencia o desenho como momento inicial, nível ou elemento básico da criação visual de formas nas artes da representação espacial, incluindo as artes da experiencia espaço-temporal tais como a dança, o filme, entre outras.

Ponto→Linha→Plano→ Figura, elementos generativos primários da analise e representação espacial, emergem no desenho enquanto “abstrações concretas” e caracterizam o movimento essencial de mediação próprio do desenho, de identificação e projeção espaço-temporal e mapeamento de relações e, assim, de construção da experiencia de si e do mundo.

Se retiramos da pintura o elemento da cor, o que resta e’ a delimitação das formas pelo contraste essencial, “ primitivo” entre luzes e sombras. O desenho seria então, deste modo, a organização gráfica elementar ou primeira das relações entra a luz e a sombra gerando as formas e os ritmos da representação espacial. Na sua forma artística autônoma, o desenho e’, também, organização “ultima”, ao mesmo tempo sintética e dinâmica, isto e’, fundamentada em uma relativa economia de meios, autossuficiente e, ao mesmo tempo, implicando um espaço de desenvolvimento futuro da forma como forma generativa (a mesma consideração se aplica ao uso da cor no desenho).

O desenho e’, concomitantemente e de modo essencial, forma completa e incompleta, tensão essencial entre ser e devir: enquanto síntese e superação na forma e pela forma, o desenho e’ a arte ela mesma.

English text