The moving figure

ANTHONY GORMLEY (b. 1950, UK)

The British artist Anthony Gormley is primarily known for his sculptures and large installations, but I first came across his drawings while visiting the National Portrait Gallery in London – “Fall”, a series of 9 drawings of a falling body.

Every drawing is a solitary figure  in a void. This is a theme recurring in Gormley’s work- here from the series “the Grid” 2016:

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Or from the series “Body and Light” , ink drawings on wet ground:

In stead of placing the figure in recognizable surroundings, Gormley explores the human body in a void- questioning the relationship between the body we occupy and the space around it. All through his career , Anthony Gormley has been exploring this theme of the experience of occupying a human body. He uses his own body for casts for his sculptures.

I feel inspired to experiment with wet paper and human form and also to explore what difference it makes to leave the scribbled figures floating in space versus giving them somewhere to stand or something to hold on to.

Antonygormleycom. 2017. Antonygormleycom. [Online]. [23 January 2017]. Available from: http://www.antonygormley.com


RICHARD HAMBLETON b. 1954

Richard Hambleton was born in Canada but relocated to New York in the 1970’s. He became known as “the Godfather of street art” with his series of graffitti “Shadows” all over New York in the 1980’s.

Since then his paintings have been presented in galleries and museums with more than man sized shadow figures. I love the energy and spontaneous expression of these figures and can imagine the impressive effect when seeing them larger than man.

I love the way he can express a precise movement and even expression with only a shadow, a blur or dot of black paint. His brushstrokes seem as fast as the moving figures he captures.

I just now discovered that he even paints portraits in the same manner, including colour or gold dust.

There is definitely an “a la Richard Hambleton” experiment coming up in my “Sketchbook section” now.


 

DAVID HAINES b. 1969

David Haines is a British contemporary artist making videos and hyper realistic drawings in pencil on paper. I can just marvel at the skill and draughtmanship here. David Haines seems to catch a glimpse of a brief moment, a quick movement and moment in time, but renders it with such precision and detail, that it is a very slow process. I just read in an interview with the artist in the magazine “mimik”, that he spent a whole year on the giant pencil drawing “Radiant bodies” for example.

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David Haines collects various images mainly relating to a street and gay culture , and then reinterprets them in his own specific image language – “the drawings are not protests but they seek to create a new visual vocabulary”.

Sneakers and anatomical hearts appear in many of his works

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Fascinating detail and drawing skills, but I feel personally less touched by these hyper realistic drawings than the quick splattered movements by Richard Hambleton.

Mimikmagazinecom. 2017. Mimik Magazine. [Online]. [1 April 2017]. Available from: http://mimikmagazine.com/mirrorfragments/david-haines-gathering-languages/

Davidhainesorg. 2017. Davidhainesorg. [Online]. [1 April 2017]. Available from: http://www.davidhaines.org/work04.html


 EMMA TALBOT b. 1969
I discovered the British artist Emma Talbot in the beautiful book “Drawing people- the human figure in contemporary art” by Roger Malbert. At a first glimpse, I could have turned over the page and seen her watercolour drawings as cartoon like and light, but I found myself drawn to looking at them over and over again.
The drawings can be read as a diary, or as an imaginary diary of the same figure without facial features. They are like glimpses of a short mundane moment-like washing the clothes in a sink, or walking up the stairs.
Some drawings are complex stories interwoven in a intricate pattern
There is an underlying atmosphere of threat and sadness. I find myself a little surprised at how touched I am by these series of drawings.
Malbert, Roger (2016). Drawing people, the human figure in contemporary art. England: Thames & Hudson.
Emmatalbotorguk. 2017. Emmatalbotorguk. [Online]. [1 April 2017]. Available from: http://www.emmatalbot.org.uk/

 

HEATHER HANSEN

American dancer and artist Heather Hansen presents another perspective on “the figure in movement”- her own movements creating patterns on a huge paper she dances on with charcoal in her hands.

I am particularly attracted to this right now as my own movements are restricted due to medical condition, and I am usually a person with a regular dynamic yoga practice. I can’t wait to be able to move my arms freely again and try this out.

Heatherhansennet. 2017. Heatherhansennet. [Online]. [1 April 2017]. Available from: http://www.heatherhansen.net/


 

 

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