Saturday, March 31, 2012

Drawing: Not Dead - Stephen Wierzbowski's Monument: Sketch Studies of Great Architecture in Europe and America opens tonight at Framing Mode Gallery

Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis; Monastère du Sainte Marie de La Tourette; Éveux, near Lyon, FR; 09/83; charcoal pencil on paper; 17" x 12 1/2
When Michael Graves was in Chicago to pick up the Driehaus Award last Saturday, this is one of the things he wanted to talk about . . .
I do want to open the book on drawing.  I don't care if you don't draw well.  In fact, I tend to mistrust you if you draw really well . . . Piranesi drew the most marvelous analytical drawings.  He would make drawings that would teach architects what the opus reticulatum was, if they didn't know.   Why the Romans built that way.  He would reveal the wall, of course, simply by drawing the ruins.  In drawing the ruins, he would draw the layers of construction.  He made those analytical drawings to remember, himself.  They were for him.  No, don't draw for your mother-in-law.  Draw for yourself.  Draw in a way that then, twenty years from now, you can pick it up in your sketchbook, and look at it.  You're the only the one who sees it.  Nobody else has to look at your diary.  And [see again] what you were thinking about.

You can't draw without your brain.  And you must do it all the time.  You get rusty.  It was one of the most magical and marvelous acts, filled with passion, to get to draw.  I don't care whether one draws well or not, but just to get the ideas down.  LeCorbusier said you have to draw to remember. 
image: Arch de Triomphe de Carrousel, Paris FR
May 1983, ink on paper, 10.25×14.5in
 This evening, Saturday March 31s marks the opening of a new exhibition, Monument: Sketch Studies of Great Architecture in Europe and America, a collection of 68 travel sketches from Europe and America by Chicago architect Stephen Wierzbowski.  It's at The Framing Mode and Gallery, 1526 South Wabash.  Tonight's opening reception is from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
My response to the question asked at the Yale Symposium, Is Drawing Dead?,  includes analytic and exploratory sketches of Great Architecture.
The exhibition runs through May 12th.  Gallery hours are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday. 

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