Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Drawings at the Legion of Honor

After my morning at the Metreon, I hiked up to the Legion of Honor to see the exhibit of drawings from the Collection of Joseph and Deborah Goldyne. Although the exhibit is divided into genres, like portraits, nature, etc., it is really a collection of individual masterpieces. It was easiest for me to enjoy each drawing on its own without considering how it might fit into some over-all scheme. What impresses me most are the Italian Renaissance drawings. They are so accurate & yet so fluid. How did they learn to draw like that? Can people still draw like that today?

I liked the gesture drawings of Tiepolo & Rembrandt. It's amazing how much character they can record in relatively few, very loose, lines.

I was also impressed by the Corot drawing of the back of heavily clothed peasant woman. This would seem to be an uninteresting view of an uninteresting subject, but he makes you feel that it deserves a lot of attention.

There is a very striking contour drawing of a chrysanthemum by Mucha. His line is precise & delicate. You get a sense of his sustained observation. I suppose that's something that just about all the drawings have in common: this very sustained sense of focus. & this focus can be completely abstract, as in Bruce Connor's crazy doodle-like drawing.

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