The Drawing Center skillfully balances its exhibition schedule between contemporary shows and fine historical subjects, such as the treasure trove of drawings from Tate collections that opens this month (until 31 May). True to its title, this exhibition, curated by artist Avis Newman in collaboration with the Center’s director Catherine de Zegher, takes as its themes the presence of theatrical and literary references in drawings, and also emphasises that buzzword of today’s art theory, “process”. Themes, however, hardly seem the point of this show—rather it is the sheer quality and variety of the loans—Tate has shipped to New York 145 works on paper, spanning three centuries. The diverse artists include Blake, Flaxman, Beardsley, Bonnard, Picabia (below, “Conversation I”, 1922), Bacon, Twombly, Fontana, Giacometti, and Warhol, among many others, famous and obscure. In all, it is a cornucopia that seems almost too deliciously eclectic to be true.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'The stage of drawing: gesture and act (selected from Tate collections)'