Monday, August 10, 2009

On Gesture - I

Matisse said, “Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.” The gesture has long occupied a central role in how I understand the act of drawing, as it affords a theoretical and practical intersection of body, vision, instinct, and material. A question that continues to fascinate me has to do with cathexis, or a mark's ability to transmit emotional content - how do marks 'speak' (to) experience?

Carrie Noland and Sally Ann Ness, in a co-edited volume called Migrations of Gesture, assemble essays that speak to gesture's ambition and capacity, from performance, to language, to drawing. Of particular interest is Noland's discussion of the work of Belgian artist Henri Michaux, who set out to create an iconic emotional language of gestural form.

I am curious, in the broadest sense, how gesture factors into your work - how do you conceive of gesture, and how does it manifest in your drawing? Do you think the gesture carries extra-semantic content? How does this operate? Theories and examples are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment