Drawing Biennial 2019

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Open: 11am-6pm Tue-Fri, noon-6pm Sat-Sun

1-27 Rodney Place, Elephant and Castle, SE17 1PP, London, UK
Open: 11am-6pm Tue-Fri, noon-6pm Sat-Sun


Drawing Biennial 2019


Drawing Biennial 2019
to Tue 26 Mar 2019
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Contributing artists include Caroline Achaintre (FR), Charles Avery (UK), Rana Begum (BD), Huma Bhabha (PK), Martin Boyce (UK), Sonia Boyce (UK), Lisa Brice (ZA), Andrea Büttner (DE), Alice Channer (UK), Nikhal Chopra (IN), Rhys Coren (UK), Jesse Darling (UK), Aleana Egan (IE), Ryan Gander (UK), Penny Goring (UK), Antony Gormley (UK), Nilbar Güreş (TR), Mona Hatoum (PS), Marie Jacotey (FR), Chantal Joffe UK), Idris Khan (UK), Alice Maher (IE), Ryan Mosley (UK), Ciprian Mureşan (RO), David Noonan (AU), Athena Papadopoulos (CA), Fani Parali (GR), Hetain Patel (UK), Cornelia Parker (UK), Kathy Prendergast (IE), George Shaw (UK), Raqib Shaw (IN), Emma Talbot (UK), Francis Upritchard (NZ), Alison Wilding (UK), Rose Wylie (UK) and many others.

Own a part of the story of contemporary drawing. An exhibition and auction of over 200 unique drawings showcasing the most exciting artists working today.

Raqib Shaw, The Whistle Blower, 2018. Enamel, acrylic liner, graphite, 26 x 21cm

Including works using every imaginable technique, Drawing Biennial 2019 affirms the centrality of drawing to all spheres of artistic production. The exhibition includes more than 200 new and recent works on paper by leading international artists of different generations. Artists associated with the medium of drawing such as Charles Avery, Huma Bhabha, Nikhal Chopra and Kathy Prendergast sit alongside those better known as sculptors, such as Antony Gormley, Francis Upritchard and Alison Wilding, or as painters, such as Ryan Mosley and George Shaw.

Culminating in an online auction in the exhibition’s final two weeks, all works are available to purchase from a starting bid of £300. Proceeds from the auction support Drawing Room’s exhibition, learning and publishing programme and growth of its unique study library. Artists have been invited to make an original drawing by Drawing Room directors Mary Doyle, Kate Macfarlane and Katharine Stout, with additional nominations by leading international artists, museum directors, curators and collectors.

Drawing Biennial 2019 signals the diversity of artists’ imagination, demonstrating the vitality and importance of drawing today.

TRANSFORMATION: drawing is utilised to magically transform one being or form into another. The muted, washy palette of Francis Upritchard’s mythical Centaur Having a Nightmare, contrasts with Raqib Shaw’s The Whistle Blower, a shackled bird-man, beguiling in its bejewelled colours. In contrast Ronald Cornelissen’s man-birds or man-machines are raw and direct.

FIGURES: variously contorted, sprawling, imprisoned, or isolated include Emma Talbot’s autobiographical female form that emerges from the rocks to free itself and Penny Goring’s figure with ‘bad legs, bad bum, bad back’ which she describes as a drawing ‘about the violence of austerity’. In Sandra Vasquez de la Horra’s richly worked graphite drawing, ghost-like heads appear in swirls of smoke. Athena Papadopoulos uses rapeseed oil, eyeliner, lipstick and mascara to create a double-headed, amorphous body. Huma Bhabha’s head combines popular culture and horror in her spider man collage, his shoulder pads morphing into the eyes of a monster. Jesse Darling’s afflicted figure of Pinocchio catches aflame, slowly burning in hazy coloured pencil, whilst Ryan Gander describes his minimal line drawing of two candles, one snuffed out, as a ‘sketch about the anxiety of influence, fear of mortality and Parapossible cognitive time travel.’ Drawing also allows for contemplation, as we see in Marie Jacotey’s intimate drawing of a female figure reflected in a mirror, surrounded by forest and hills which examines her favourite subjects of ‘feisty women, stiff sensuality and lush countryside.’

PORTRAITS AND HOMAGES: Turner prize winner George Shaw always responds to our invitation by drawing portraits of characters from B movies or popular TV series of the 70s – in this case Olive from ‘On the Buses’. Rose Wylie has used a patchwork of techniques to pay homage to Alice Neal’s painting of Faith Ringgold.

This exhibition shows drawing to be nimble and responsive, equally able to deliver punchy political messages, such as Michael Landy’s Brexshit, and to reflect on the natural world, such as the delicate drawing by Kathy Prendergast: ‘The Christmas cactus, like other cacti, survives on very little yet produce blossoms of extraordinary beauty’.

Raqib Shaw, The Whistle Blower, 2018. Enamel, acrylic liner, graphite, 26 x 21cm



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