Description - Performance Drawing: New Practices since 1945 by Maryclare Foá

What is ‘performance drawing’? When does a drawing turn into a performance? Is the act of drawing in itself a performative process, whether a viewer is present or not? Through conversation, interviews and essays, the authors illuminate these questions, and what it might mean to perform, and what it might mean to draw, in a diverse and expressive contemporary practice since 1945.

The term ‘performance drawing’ first appeared in the subtitle of Catherine de Zegher’s Drawing Papers 20: Performance Drawings, in particular with reference to Alison Knowles and Elena del Rivero. In this book, it is used as a trope, and a thread of thinking, to describe a process dedicated to broadening the field of drawing through resourceful practices and cross-disciplinary influence.

Featuring a wide range of international artists, this book presents pioneering practitioners, alongside current and emerging artists. The combination of experiences and disciplines in the expanded field has established a vibrant art movement that has been progressively burgeoning in the last few years. The Introduction contextualises the background and identifies contemporary approaches to performance drawing. As a way to embrace the different voices and various lenses in producing this book, the authors combine individual perspectives and critical methodology in the five chapters.

While embedded in ephemerality and immediacy, the themes encompass body and energy, time and motion, light and space, imagined and observed, demonstrating how drawing can act as a performative tool. The dynamic interaction leads to a collective understanding of the term, performance drawing, and addresses the key developments and future directions of this applied drawing process.

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