Jay DeFeo

Lines of thought. Drawings from Michelangelo to now

 September 3 – November 6, 2016

Poole Museum, Poole, Dorset, UK

January 3 – February 28, 2017

The Brynmor Jones Library Art Gallery, University of Hull, UK

March 10 – May 7, 2017 

Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland

May 27 – September 17, 2017 

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe

September 28, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Tripod series), c. 1976, Ink, graphite and acrylic on cut paper mounted on rag board, 34,9 x 27,9 cm 13 3/4 x 11 in.  estate no. E2180,
© 2016 The Jay DeFeo Foundation/Artists Rights Society/ARS, New York.

Lines of thought explores drawing as one of the most effective mediums for expressing and representing an artist’s ideas. Its immediacy allows artists to act almost at the speed of thought, their choices legible in every line.

The British Museum’s Prints and Drawings collection is one of the world’s greatest graphic collections with around 50,000 drawings and over two million prints dating from the early fifteenth century to today. The exhibition showcases selected drawings from fifteenth and sixteenth century masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo right up to artists working now. Lines of thought thus emphasises the continuing vitality and fundamental nature of drawing, and its importance for artists from Michelangelo to Mondrian, Rembrandt to Rachel Whiteread, Piranesi to Picasso. What unites all of these artists, from the Renaissance through to contemporary practitioners and all those in-between, is the use of drawing as a means of thinking on paper.

The exhibition will be arranged not by period or style, but by the types of thinking drawing both records and stimulates. The five sections are: The Likeness of a Thought, Brainstorming, Enquiry and Experiment, Insight and Association and Development and Decisions. By examining the process of drawing through this lens, the exhibition emphasizes the numerous and invaluable lessons one can learn from looking at the drawings of past masters in the context of artists working today, and offers a unique chance to view the minds of some of the world’s most astonishing artists in operation.

This exhibition will tour to just three galleries, Poole, Hull and Belfast with the aim of encouraging art students and art lovers across the UK to engage with and learn to draw from their local and national drawing collections.