On 5 May 1950, when he was 46 years old, Jean Helion, son of a dressmaker and a taxi driver,made a drawing from life of a man reading a newspaper. He made the drawing in just a few minutes, with charcoal, without corrections, on a sheet of cartridge paper, 22" × 32". When in June 2007 I showed the drawing to an artist friend,1 he said the newspaper that is central to the image looked like it was drawn by Frank Gehry. This observation and a recent experience of working on a research project that tested the value of making transcriptions as a means of both better understanding individual drawings and more generally learning how to draw got me thinking anew about Helion’s drawing. The research question underpinning the original Drawing from Turner project2 – Could the making of transcriptions from the drawings of high achievers have a part to play in developing a curriculum for learning to draw today? – clearly remained relevant but more important now was the specific question: What can you learn about a drawing by redrawing it? So the project On Drawing a Man Reading a Newspaper was born. It clearly relates to the Turner project, but this time focuses on just one modernist drawing and on discovering what can be learned by not just redrawing a drawing once but by redrawing it over and over again. What follows are images of some of the transcriptions I made with their contemporary notes.
|Type of Research:||Article|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design|
|Digital Object Identifier:||doi:10.1177/1470357209102111|
|Deposited By:||John Murtagh|
|Deposited On:||15 Aug 2011 12:29|
|Last Modified:||27 Jul 2012 12:19|