on line - drawing throughout the 20th century

  • picasso : use of multiple vanishing points in 3 dimensions (guitar)
  • Eva Hesse

  • kurt schwitters (1923) : planes of colors layered to the point of disruption of the plane; neo-concretism
  • helio oiticia
  • lygia pape

“the combination of delineation and perspective allows objects in real space to be transcribed to the imaginary plane.”

  • delineation : the arrangement of lines to determine form; analogy
  • perspective : the placement of objects in space

at the end of 19th century, line is both scientific/objective and imaginative time becomes masked as lines accrete

claim: for linguists, the naming with word is “an act of consciousness through which we begin to know”. so for artists the rendering of form in drawing transforms perception into naming, and is also a process through which we begin to know.

  • is this valid?
  • the consequence: cognition arises during/from creation, with line as the indicator or evidence of a cognitive process

The commercial distribution of paper -> drawing has also shed the institutional reliance on paper » what is the canonical definition of drawing and what are its extensions

photography - new form of illusionist representation

for the modern artist - line as a point in movement evolution of drawing — traverse from line as moving of points, thru grid structure, to point as crossing of lines.. connectivity, disconnectivity on WWW.. the “online” vs “offline”… shift into virtual space

different stages of line— Line as compression of pictorial space into flatness and an escape from flatness. layering of papers - line leaps from the plane.. “initiator of movement in space” -> “surface tension”

1910-1920 - drawing was increasingly defined by movement » tracing and collage Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carra emphasized synesthesia and kinesthesia - the stasis was seen as bourgeois aesthetics. but did not really change things — still static? breakthrough- cubist papier colles of Georgeous Braque and Pablo Picasso cubist - radical structural implications- velocity, energy, change in real time/space drawn lines and edges of cut papers provokes a tension in the surface

use of string? collage was afloat in space - varied lengths and shape ; Duchamp and mobility relation between line and form- duchamp dropping meter-long threads and making meter sticks of the pattern they create — thus, line dictates form instead of form dictating line

connectivity, continuity in time and space line acts as both disjunctive and connective - fragmenting the subject into parts or delineating new relations cubist collage - the flatness of the 2d plane and the literal construction of reality

—> contour accrued to the papers edge, coextensive with real space. marks used to augment representational resemblance - shading and modeling, hatching and crosshatching faded in importance “collage declared a possible break with the whole system of analogic representation, based on “looking alike”, that had long been the duty of line”(34) “line extension”


On page 24 in On Line, line is described to act as an “indicator of a cognitive process”, comparable to the act of giving name to an object in the sense that naming something may start the process of its comprehension. The authors state, “cognition thus proceeds from creation”; how far can this idea be pushed?

I agree to some extent that marking or delineating helps one begin to grasp the proportions of the thing they are creating and/or referencing. something physically unstable or proportionally inconsistent may still resemble its reference if the contour and general shape – even if distorted – seem consistent with the reference, example: Picasso’s guitar drawing

Delineation and perspective translates something from real space to imaginary.

But with cubist collages they also tried to capture change and motion

In some sense creation is deliberate; it passes through the mind and body.


drawing has become transdisciplinary and hybridized, entangled? with other mediums/materials - integrated into every discipline. drawing emerged from 1960s as a medium of and on its own

the linear element defines drawing in a hybrid w painting? Ryman - line, surface, support. he explores the material nature of art & physical properties of materials, in reaction to each other and to manipulation in a world of reductive principles the artist has found endless variations to investigate 1960s minimalist aesthetics were engaged w the condition of the literal and with the purging of illusionism from the work by addressing the external Eva Hesse winding, weaved lines color is whatever comes out of the material and keeps it what it is… the light is there by its nature and does beautiful things to it; part of ots anatomy line may also be an absence or a gap or material presence in real space (thread; anna maria maiolino) giving more attention to the process of constructing than to what was constructed Clark, hesse, maiolino mixing drawing/sculpture/painting richard tuttle

the dematerialization of the art object made process-based works that materialized line - in the process of “deskilling”-> gestural and linear mark making; materialization of linear structures

hesse and tuttle.. “seeking a way to express an individual “self” released from the kind of social identity formed by cultural templates; counter the existing institutional culture, its norms, categorizations, and ideological cliches”

the grid malevich, mondrian, fabro

cross sections of self w wire

art becoming intellectual tool, similar to linguistics