Monday, August 3, 2009

August is Drawing History Month?

Yes, why not. Two excellent exhibitions in New York, looking at what was hot 700-200 years ago in drawing.

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘LIVING LINE: SELECTED INDIAN DRAWINGS FROM THE SUBHASH KAPOOR GIFT,’ through Sept. 7. This almost supernaturally beautiful exhibition presents 40 mostly small drawings by Indian miniaturists of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Rendered with amazing skill, the subjects include bearded aristocrats and bejeweled women; hunting scenes; wild animals and mythic beasts fighting; and gods, goddesses and demons ascending and descending. The art of drawing does not get much better than this. (212) 535-7710,

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘PEN AND PARCHMENT: DRAWING IN THE MIDDLE AGES,’ through Aug 23. This quietly ravishing exhibition ventures where few shows have gone before, with 50 rarely seen works. They prove medieval drawing to be vital, diverse and essential to the medium’s Renaissance blossoming. They reveal the medium untangling from manuscript illumination and Christianity in general — although not without first reveling in some astounding Psalters, gospels, epistles and a saint’s life or two. It re-embraces antiquity and provides a framework for speculative (read, secular) thought. The show ends with the visionary drawings of Opicinus de Canistris, a 13th-century Italian cleric who diagrammed his own notion of the relationship between the earthly and spiritual church. (212) 535-7710,

(NYT 7/30/09)


  1. nothing smart or dialogic to say, just wanted to contribute to the sexy new blog that all the kids are talking about.