As the Drawing Galaxy librarian I would like to introduce you to books that will help to develop your understanding of abstract art, expand your abstract drawing skills, and build your abstract vocabulary. Mike Hopkins
Richard Pousette-Dart (1916 to 1992) is best known as an American painter of mid-20th-century Abstract Expressionism, although his work was distinct for its spiritual content and a penchant for an elaborate layering practice. His works on paper are remarkable for their varied use of materials and techniques, and include evocative graphic drawings touched with white paint, bold black and white paintings, hand colored etchings and colorful acrylics on handmade paper. Generously illustrated with nearly 200 color images, this book examines the artist’s works on paper, focused on his dynamic experimentation with media and styles over nearly seven decades.
This book based on a Paul Klee exhibition in Bern and focuses on the significance of handwriting, writing, and scriptive signs in artistic practice. In a poetic-metaphorical manner Klee laid out a plausible working method for drawing: the artist takes a line for a walk. In the modern era, script, characters and calligraphy have been areas in which artists have explored movement, intuition, control (in the sense of a mastery of visual means), and spontaneity. From abstract expressionist scratching to mystical symbolism, from ancient hieroglyphics to the Art and Language Movement, the dichotomy of line as decoration and line as communication has influenced modern art. This deeply engaging book brings together the script works of Paul Klee: the calligraphic-based works of Henri Michaux, Mark Tobey and Brice Mardin: the script-like characters of Cy Twombly: the spontaneity of Christopher Wools graffiti-like works, to create a snapshot of one of the fine arts most compelling themes.
Abstract Art by Anna Moszynska provides an excellent introduction to the history of abstract art. It’s short, easy to read, and includes a rich variety of black and white, and color illustrations. The author, Anna Moszynska shows how abstract art originated and evolved, placing it in its broad historical and cultural context. She traces the paths to abstraction forged by artists such as Balla, Kupka, and Delaunay, and examines the pioneering work of Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian in exploring art’s spiritual dimension. Abstract Art also discusses the Russian Constructivists, the De Stijl group, the Bauhaus, and contrasts geometric tendencies of the 1930s and 1940s with the post-War emphasis on personal expression that culminated in Abstract Expressionism. The author also considers the work of Op, Kinetic, and Minimal artists.
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century by Cornelia H. Butler and Catherine de Zegher explores a radical transformation of drawing that began over a century ago and continues as a vital impulse in art today. It presents a diverse history of mark-making through 250 works by 100 artists. Essays by the authors illuminate individual practices that show how artists have pushed the line of drawing into real space, expanding its relationship to gesture and form, and invigorating its links with painting and sculpture, photography and film, dance and performance.
Abstract Expressionism by Lisa Messinger contains over 50 superb color reproductions of Abstract Expressionists works on paper from the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Most of the artists here made numerous works on paper when they were experimenting with new structures and imagery. Their extensive bodies of work on paper provide key insights into both their shared intentions and their individual routes toward mature expression. Immediacy and directness were major concerns in their search for expression of innermost emotions.
Twice Drawn contains an exciting survey of modern and contemporary drawings that explores how context affects our understanding of art. Included are reproductions of over 50 artist drawings. The editors then mix those drawings with hundreds more that are thematically arranged by traditional genres and less conventional principles, offering alternative ways to examine relationships among style, contemporaneity, and chronology. Included are mid-century artists such as Philip Guston and Ellsworth Kelly, established draftsmen Brice Marden and Lee Bontecou, and a younger generation of artists like Dawn Clements, and Chris Ofili.