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PRINT April 1976

Drawing Now (and Then)

OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS innumerable museums and art galleries across the country have been swept by an epidemic of drawing and “works on paper” exhibitions, a phenomenon which began to receive in-depth attention from New York museums in 1973. In that year, the now-defunct New York Cultural Center’s “3-D into 2-D,” an exhibition of drawings by 28 contemporary artists loosely described as sculptors, was followed a few months later by the Whitney’s “American Drawings: 1963–1973,” which presented, in overloaded Annual style, two to three drawings by 87 American artists. The current popularity of drawings and exhibitions of them is probably due in part to the crunch on both museums’ and collectors’ budgets, to inflated art prices and to a certain amount of curatorial timidity. (The drawing exhibition provides an inherent mediumistic unity when all else fails.) But if it can be relatively

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