Drawing as Process in Contemporary Art

October 5 2006 – January 14, 2007

Installation view

Installation view

Since at least the Renaissance, drawing has been a familiar part of the creative process in Western art. Traditionally, printmakers, painters, and sculptors might dash off sketches to practice technique, keep notebooks as a way to gather and organize ideas, or draft formal renderings.

Today, the styles, materials, and forms of art have expanded, and drawing has become a vital and self-sufficient art form. However, artists continue to use drawing to brainstorm and experiment, to explore ideas, and to propose, hone, circulate, and chronicle their works in other media. Sketches and formal compositions still inform the practices of painting and sculpture, and now artists might also draw layouts for installation art, storyboards for performances, or instructions that are acted out by viewers.

Organized as a series of case studies of artists with connections to the Smart Museum's collections and commissions, this exhibition offered a behind-the-scenes look at the working process of some of today’s leading artists: Mark Dion, Julia Fish, Carol Jackson, Kerry James Marshall, Richard Rezac, Erwin Wurm, and Zhang Huan.