Fine Line? Contemporary reflections on the art of drawing

Sechs Personen stehen an einem Apfelbaum und eine Person ist eine Leiter hochgeklettert, um einen Apfel zu pflücken.

The drawing is a classic medium, fast and brilliantly simple. Consisting of a line on paper, it can be a sketch, a study, a plan or a portrait. Drawings are distinguished by their simplicity and the apparent ease with which they are created; the eye follows the line and watches a static element turn into a variable one, meandering snake-like over the page, a fine thread or a bold stroke, a drip line, outline or a surface.

The line goes back to the time of early man: Since time immemorial, the line has turned ideas into images, a means of gauging, explaining and representing the world. For centuries, the arts and sciences availed themselves of the line as a means to their ends, until the modern age turned it into an artistic medium in its own right. In the 1970s, Norbert Kricke twisted steel into three-dimensional lines, while Robert Smithson turned a line into his Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The line is definitely more than just a charcoal streak across a piece of paper, but its main function has essentially remained the same: The line delineates shapes and bodies, is a boundary separating inside from outside.

Today a new generation of artists is using drawing very unselfconsciously and matter-of-factly and employing a wide range of materials, including pens, scissors, computer mouses, pencils, wood, paper, monitors, truck tarpaulins, and the floors and walls of exhibition spaces to produce abstract, figurative and narrative works. The exhibition Fine Line presents works by twelve artists, mostly graduates of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, that include both traditional forms of drawing and works that show how far the spatial limits of the medium can be stretched.

Featuring works by Andreas Breunig, Ben Cottrell, Claus Böhmler, Russlan Daskalov, Lutz Driessen, Ramon Graefenstein, Behrang Karimi, Joe Neave, Theresa Reusch, Agnes Scherer, Jana Schroeder, Habima Fuchs.

Jana Schröder, Spontacts 1-3, 2011, Kopierstift, Acryl und Öl auf Papier, 201 x 150 cm, Foto: Ivo Faber
Joe Neave, ohne Titel, 2009, Buntstift auf Papier, 21 x 29,7 cm, Courtesy Galerie Warhus Rittershaus
Russlan Daskalov, Spatzenwind im Hinterhof des Strandes, 2010, Tintenstrahldruck Glanz, 200 x 250 cm, Courtesy: Galerie Warhus Rittershaus