New York

“New Drawing In America”

The Drawing Center

This was another kind of group show, the first half of an exhibition of drawings by 174 artists (one work each). To me it posed a problem: the lack of profile of drawing today. Drawing has acquired a multitude of uses and lost definition as a medium. This is perhaps an unavoidable consequence of the so-called expansionist esthetic and the multimedia approach, with their implicit synthesis of all in all; but they seem increasingly a matter of diminishing returns. The sense of vision that their variety of combinations initially evoked seems lost. Somewhere between the alternative, purist approach, with its high-abstraction results, and the expansionist acceptance of diversity and visual irony, there has to be a renewed sense of the modesty of drawing. It was traditionally a source of exploratory tentativeness or idealized impulsiveness and immediacy—simultaneously preparatory and instinctive,

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