Drawing as Suspended Narrative Author(s): John Elderfield Source: Leonardo, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Winter, 1971), pp. 13-22 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1572226 . Accessed: 10/10/2011 17:29
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if not a simple record. both visual and imagined. 1548) [3-5]. Printedin GreatBritain Leonardo. and drawing is a record of these things but the record itself can never be impassive. the denotative and the exemplifactory. PergamonPress 1971. We remember that between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries the development of critical and theoretical discourse in Italy led to the elevation of drawing to the highest phase of artistic creation through its identification with 'idea' itself. since embryology and meaningneed not concur. England. makes it possible to build knowledge step * Artist living at 15 SparkfordClose. (2) sources in drawingand their exact definition in thedrawingitselfand (3) the relationshipbetweensourceand structurein drawing. Drawing as the most effective method of allying idea and image is. Indeed. since it is more closely linked to concept formation than any later aspect of artmaking. makes possible the formulation of intellectual concepts of the greatest complexity. It is suggested that the relationshipof drawingand source is of majorsignificance whendrawingis definednot as afactual presence but as a process. Structure is definedas more than theframework of the drawingbut as identical to the whole work itself. My aim here is to consider the nature of source-transformation in drawing by attempting to define 13 . Put this way. the possibility of precise markings reflecting private concerns. The realisation of the suspendednarrativeutilises the difin ference in context of the source and its transformation drawing. then the importance awarded to drawing as the initial and inventive moment of the art-making process is well justified. so drawing. and drawing as clarification (not record) of source is to be my theme. Drawing structure is consideredas derivingfrom both source and from the object-characterof the drawing. however. Meaning will occur both in the individualwork and be clarifiedin a series of alike works. Again. (Received16 January1970). 1607) and the draughtsman was thought to act out a kind of divine speculation in his original creation (Doni. INTRODUCTION 'To draw means to make a subjective image extrinsic' [1].Hants. since drawing thus becomes the assimilation of mental and environmentaldata. As Mendelowitz puts it: 'Just as the written or spoken word. The phrase 'suspensionof narrative'is used to signify this assimilation of sources within the activity of drawingand specificity and clarity are cited as prerequisites exact 'suspension'. by fixing fragments of thought in logical sequences. by fixing visual impressions in static forms. what happens to the source in the process of drawing so transforms it that we must always take into account the conventions of this process. as independent object-making and as directed towards future non-drawingobjects. how the personal begins to be made public. In that aspect of drawing called judgment ('giudizio')..Vol. an interpretation with much history. by step and eventually come to know the nature of forms that are too complex to be comprehended at a single glance' [2]. SUSPENDED DRAWING AS NARRATIVE JohnElderfield* Abstract-The author's discussionof drawingfollows three major themes: (1) a definitionof drawingas process. If this is so. But the transformation of inner image to the outer fact of a drawing. a visualization of the perceived or the imagined. where the repetition of similar images will reducepossibilities of misinterpretationin favour of specificity. both of which adduce meaning.while randomnessmight inform for the choice of source. Drawing became associated with the universal metaphysical principle of 'disegno interno' (inner design) (Zuccari. A definition of drawing is proposed which distinguishesbetween drawing as source-assimilation.sure commitment and sure motivation. Traditionally. 1549). Winchester. is neither a spontaneous expression. drawinghas often been identifiedwith the conception of art itself. I. The sources of art can be a multitude of things. of course. It is suggested. the most interesting aspect of drawing is its discreetness. it is itself no guarantee of quality. the artist's inner image of a thing was subsequentlytransformed into fact (Pino. 13-22. This private activity is worth public discussion because it reveals to a maximum the relationship between art sources and their structuralization. drawing is an act of clarification. 4pp. that whilesource-awareness valuablyfacilitates sure decisions.

We notice that 1 and 2 treat drawing as preparatory towards some other activity. projections-as part of the inventing process. finally.14 John Elderfield divisions usefully separate the drawing related to source (Hill 1. impossible to identify (with words) drawing as such. II. as a process by which mental and environmental data is transformed into fact. sculpture. No identification of this kind will successfully express the range of activities which drawing encompasses. Martin 1). 2-Drawings towards objects-visualisations. . two from writers on drawing and two from artists. in fact. more particularly. 1. 3). Two possibilities suggest themselves: either we presume the existence of a thing called 'a drawing' and proceed to distinguish (classify) the attributes and functions of drawing. drawingon as a process precedes the other functions of drawing (which are in fact its developments: to drawingitself and to drawingto-the intermediate stage towards non-drawing objects). the drawing as drawing (Hill 2. . Of course. Anthony Hill: '-1 Mathematical drawings-research. Towards this end. while 3 does not clarify what drawing is. all of whom divide its function into three parts. It distinguishes: 'the drawing that is a record of what is seen. 2-Independent graphic work. These aspects of drawing are schematically representedin Fig. And the objectoutcome of this process may be the independent drawing or. 2-Drawing: a piece of independent graphic work motivated by the wish to produce an object called 'a drawing'. is unsuitable as a general definition: it excludes some drawing. Here the emphasis is shifted from drawing preparatory to painting to drawing as an end in itself and. 2.. Martin 3) and the drawing related to later activity (Hill 3. 2-preparatory works which are deprived of their independentvalue because they are materially incorporated into the finished work of art. while descriptive of his drawings.. 5 Fig. And the third category usefully signifies drawings which have decided meanings. 1. architecture.to drawingbased on the visual or imagined world. We might clarify these functions of drawing in their relationship to drawing as process in the following terms: 1-Drawing on: a drawing whose primary reference is to its source. or we forget about defining a factual thing and instead recognize a process. Here source is integrated to demands for the autonomous image-object with its independent present reality. The artists' comments on 'The function of drawing' come from a questionnaire of that name [9]. In this sense. First. Moreover. This is indicated in Fig. another kind of object (represented as 4 in Fig. Here direction is concentrated on the past in its relationship to the present activity of drawing. 2. etc. This has too many pitfalls. 2 35 4 . But what does drawingon draw on ? Two things: A-an immediate reference of mental and/or environmental nature that is itself informed by Bmore general references or designata of the artist's personal and artistic history. we might consider some classifications of the function of drawing. while it includes much painting and even sculpture. Here the tripartite 5 past present Fig. The authors of the article on drawing in the Encyclopaedia of World Art distinguish: '1preparatory works which are separate and distinct from the final artistic product . and Kenneth Martin: '--Drawings from objects-to possess them. future But we might indeed consider drawingon not as an object at all but as an attribute of all drawing activity. 3-Drawings as inventions themselves-chains of spontaneous development'. this is a process 1A B Fig 3. 3-Technical drawings-key plans of constructions'. whetherthis be a perceived object or a mental image. such as graphs or plans. 2-the drawing that is a visualization of what is nonexistent . TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF DRAWING AS A PROCESS I do not propose to define drawing in a descriptive way. Mendelowitz's book on drawing is more hopeful. . no attempt is made to assess the source of drawing activity. 1 2 d-rawiigzm drawing itself as a process. and by assessing the relationship of source and structure. Alcopley's 'A drawing is defined as an image in which the composition of lines predominates over considerations of colour' [6]. 3-Drawing to: a drawing primarily concerned with its relationship to future objects-paintings. For example. plans. It is. Martin 2). and 3-the drawing that is a graphic symbol which can be read because the meaning is commonly understood' [8]. 3-works executed according to the usual drawing techniques but have the character of independent works' [7].and to other drawingsthemselves. by examining the nature of sourcesand theirspecificmanifestationin drawing. .

aim at the specific without any fears of limitation. to a tradition that equates intellectual and ideational concerns to an art of manifest simplicity.the products of conscious selection. Ideally they should be like memorials' [11]. on the other. Though one may wish to narrow the arena. I find this continuous narrative method. simple. R. Kitaj said: 'Specificity knows no poetic borders and poetry knows only specific occasion' [10]. The precision of drawing may reduce to a minimum such amorphous allusions. An objective art is not the same as a reductive or minimal one: the simplest statement may be the sloppiest one. To me. while directing oneself towards precision and brevity. to entirely close it is unnecessarily limiting. And this randomness is something to be accepted. DRAWINGS AS NARRATION OF SOURCE AND NARRATIVE METHOD The discreetness of the drawing activity allows that each mark made may establish. with the analysis of research and with the sifting of the probable from the thousand possibilities from which art-works are informed. meanings must occur. the tenacity of eye and brain to seek meanings needs no assistance. situations. Thus. The idea precedes the object and fetishism should not be allowed to exclude a broader concern for motivation. that moment is suspended and then factualised. it is the making visible which itself articulates and realizes the only approximate mental image. in any language there just are not enough 'words'. I find that a long and protractedprocess of drawingon is necessary before a drawing may be produced which specifies the mental image in a pictorial form. a process concerned with the collection and collation of information. However. Howard Hodgkin seems to have been supporting a similar principle when he wrote that paintings 'are about one moment of time . Mandelbrojt quoted Piaget as follows: 'One can assume that the eyes randomly choose parts of an object that then are perceived. The objective. We are heirs. with research and notetaking. to demand that every move is a conscious decision towards a sensed objective seems essential if the object made is to be more than surface. And. therefore. These alone will be allusive enough. for it realises and reveals together. The final object is thus (in terms of both technique and source) a kind of compressed or suspended narrative. III. I do not. since the art-in-the-makingis a process in time. if it too directly predicts a drawing (as defined above). The imaginative. the exact one is often the most complex. just as in a written language. B. but the rendering process is both explanatory and exploratory. it sacrifices what may happen within the drawing activity itself. does not entirely exist until realized. The act of working selects from a jumble of perceptions -events. whatever the motivation. by 'objective' I do not just mean tidy or by 'precise'. as well as all planned art-ambiguity. there is no commonly agreed language of communication. clarity as a physical object) but also as the expression of concepts. with technique as a creative factor and not merely a repetitive one.a symbol standing for this or that. And while conscious planning appears to be a prerequisite for clarity. often formulated through 2 15 an aesthetic of straight lines and hard edges. since the thinking is continually and consistently present. But I do not mean that a painting or drawing should simply define a single past area to embalm it. therefore. this does not support the 'unfinished' but rather confirms the significant image as compressing a largerwhole and the creation of a finished and precise representation of that randomly perceived part. containing the history of explored possibilities (some concluded and some deleted) analogous to its source or subject which is also concerned with narration. therefore.Drawing as SuspendedNarrative which may either be enlivened at any stage by new data or may repeat itself in part or whole before a satisfactory object. one must recognize that multiple and ambiguous readings will occur. Line is the engineer's straight-edge and also the magician's wand. . a fact. By suspension of narrative I mean this: All experience is past experience (when experienced) and becomes an 'imaginary' realm. emerges. On the one hand. To insist only on a realized formal solution is only half the battle. In fact. define drawing as a factual thing but as a process. To affirm the specific. it is true. known only by significant memories one is capable of selecting. I thus interpret the first function of drawing (schematicallyrepresentedas precedingthe existence of the object called drawingbut. But what I have outlined might represent the basic process. is the right object as the outcome of the right chain of events.e. i. I mentioned above the complexity of reasons why . drawing or non-drawing. . to take account of process. in fact. This is to say that the specific is not without emotion and that depiction may be exact though the approach is still instinctive.not only to itself as an object of clarity (clarity of organization. who supports the 'unfinished'ideal of the sketch as most closely approximating to the mental image [12]. One can. if it is to reveal a nature and contain an insistent reference. However. These selected and significant images of experience pinpoint and compress a larger whole. then. Unlike Jacques Mandelbrojt. leaving only those planned markings. And rightness rejects the arbitrary. visual suggestiveness. economically. one cannot help but grope for 'sense'. a part of the drawing activity itself) as drawingon the specific and general experience which informs art. words even. while others are neglected'. as well as visual memories-alighting on one with recognition. like the remembered frame of a long film which itself suggests the rest. of course. is to effect a maximum of intellectual content. renderedreal. The reasons why certain images are chosen are undoubtedly complex but involve such factors as relevance to one's personal and artistic history as well as. Moreover.

'M III. Sometimes we define art as that made by man. as Teddy Brunius has pointed out. To this one could add the modern use of the objet trouve. their culturally established rarity and fineness had already made them art. 'not all works of art are man-made . however. not kind. acquires. 4. For Mandelbrojt's'the creativeprocess is identical to the perception of mental images' [18]. He was thinking of Chinese connoisseurs using natural stones as if they were works of art. 4 x 7 in. is at the basis of pictorial.) And the idea of context informs a wide variety of artistic problems.. To utilize chance in the choice of ready-made images (cf. However. I substitute. . . say. an image of a reconstructed world but a symbol of another imagined one. We should set against this Bohm's 'what is commonly called "disorder" is merely an inappropriate name for what is actually a certain rather complex kind of order that is difficult to describe in full detail' [ 13]. . so as to regenerate its information content. literary and musical collage [17]. Art exists where we are accustomed to look for it or choose to look for it: 'A work of art is any perceptual field which an individual uses as an occasion for performing the role of art perceiver' [16]. Gillo Dorfles discussed the Russian structuralists' concept of 'ostranenie' (meaning 'out of place') in terms of contemporary art and suggested that the idea of detaching an element from its normal context. detached from a context . Wherewe are. It is the rules we construct and the context. since the process of working itself rearranges the facts. This is also the method of strictly mimetic art and of the eclectic 'quoting' technique of. This is so as to place emphasis on both the conception and on the character of the new context (the drawing). Mandelbrojt's 'abstract painting is a representation . (Dorfles. remembering and inventing to effect together an inventory of experience. certain images present themselves for narrative suspension: this complexity might well be equated with Piaget's randomnessof choice (of certain parts of a perceived object). 4) is in fact to recognize the essential relativity of that which we call art. (A note on this point will be found at the end of my article. an indisputable effectiveness which is due to the ostranenie it has undergone'. photograph with watercolourand ink. also asserts the impossibility of 'autonomous and definite structuring in artistic creation'. its conception. 'the creative process is identical to the realization of mentally originated images'. 'the entire statement. Dorfles writes. the meaning of which is dependent not only on its intimate structure but also on that superstructureconferred by its context. Alcopley wrote of his unwillingness to draw anything at all on rare or very fine papers [15]. from its insertion in the new "structure". and seeing what we see'. that defines art. The chosen fact when realized is neither simply a motif-analogue of the experience of the visual world nor.) The realization of the 'suspended narrative' thus utilizes the 'out of place'. something to which I will returnin the next section. the Caracci and of much 'academic' art. that isolation of objects from their environment begun with the collage technique and especially developed in Dada and Surrealism. Mandelbrojt says: 'chance cannot bring forth good things unless it is not by chance'. Just as disorder does not exist. natural objects are sometimes used according to the rules of art' [14].16 John Elderfield Fig. Fig. ultimately. . 1968. It researchesthe personal and the historical. Drawing can therefore exist as a diagram for the articulation of that pinpointed (suspended) area and also as an articulation now (learning to speak of that area in the present tense). neither does chance (when the word is used as a synonym for random disorder)-that one uses chance makes it into something else. This is to say that contextual decisions are in themselves creative.

1969. not even because one has a feeling that those actions are right but because short of absolute commitment an act of invention cannot take place' [20]. 5. Fig. And the importance of sure decisions is paramount. While line reveals a more manifest clarity (cf. 1967.. I too assert the essential importance of source-awareness. Figs. Telephone'. the materialrepresentationcannot help but interfere. 7. 'S III. One cannot.. . pencil and ink on graph- paper. 1968. 6. for example. must be absolute. this conception is to preserve a maximum of personal involvement. pencil on card. 5. not because one is confident of the nature of one's motivation. 9j x 71 in. Fig. 'The directness with which any decision is made and carried out and the commitment of the painter to those decisions and actions. 5). drawings composed mainly of shading and colour (cf. 4. pencil and ink on graph-paper. 'S VIII. IV. when lines are placed so close together as to read as shading (cf. While the object (drawing) will stand or fall on formal criteria. of aspects of my interior personal world' appears to be spiritually orientated towards the source (his 'mental images') and his 'mental images' recall the kind of occult 'thought-forms' by which Kandinsky was influenced [19]. sure decisions may be effected primarily through either the precise line or the precise use of shading and colour. 7 and 8). Profile'. while never being a guarantee of successful painting. I suggest. while trying to prevent the 'standingback andjudging composition' approach. DRAWING SOURCE AND DRAWING STRUCTURE In the process by which source material is transformed in drawing. the painting will at most become a fetish of indecision. Small Legend'. 9 and 10) may sometimes approach the look of line when the shading and colour is strictly limited to very Fig.75 x 5 in. Similarly. 6. Decisions made as the work progresses may thus be justified on other than (inherited) aesthetic grounds (like painting a very large picture in a very narrow corridor)and may be sure ones. 5. 'S II.21 x 18 cm. Figs.Drawing as SuspendedNarrative 17 Fig. its effect might yet sometimes come to be similar to that of shading as. It is necessary for one to make one's action with absolute commitment. represent an interior world. And yet. If it is not.

To obtain the fullest articulation of 'suspended' images in the process of drawing the use of a regular grid. decision/chance and literal shape/depicted shape. the wall. on which to form these images seems both natural and desirable. the only. either drawn or readymade (graph-paper). the field. (This is. It is a 'commonplace' of art and. narrow widths (cf. for example. and colour are equally valid for exact definition. pencil and ink on graph-paper. both line and shading. 8. may be used as surely as line if it is also used as a medium of clarification and its looseness is not simply exploited for 'expressive' ends. ultimately. while the forms of suspended narration may enter and displace this logical harmonythough. may be substantiated by certain 'common' life images which fulfil similar functions. This is to say. directly relevant to the physical dimensions of the made object. But shading and colour. conventional units-some variety of a perspective organization. 10). It assists the exact transference of elements from drawing to drawing while demonstrating the structural character of the drawing itself. I referred to the framework or skeleton as a . 'displays' structure or at least the 'framework' convention of structureby. a ready-made grid. 1969. as such. making sense of the surface. Fig. What is more crucial is the manner of their 'integration' to the drawing surface. Profile'. 25 x 25 cm. 'S X.) Thus. achieving integration with it.18 John Elderfield Fig. 9). covering and touching the whole surface(cf. nothing else but a variation of the traditional opposites of formal/ informal. as it were. Such manifest organization. another wholistic image formed from real units of building and plaid. alternative use of this system is an irrational syntax containing logical. even 'non-sensical'. That such a framework or skeleton is in fact just a convention of structure or rather a kind of conventional symbol of (the existence of) structure is significant. This common-sense structureconvention may then allow the insertion and integration of other images which are informal. the grid and its analogues make sense of the surface. However. while in general presenting an appearance of greater imprecision than that possible by line. for example. of course. but unacceptable. Fig.

II. Biely'. 9. i .M.? : ': * ? I:*?*'*:?~ !i *'~: r 'I- -I~?: ? Fig.1? x 71 in. .. 1968. 'D.A.. collage withpencil and ink.

Possibilities of this kind are perhaps more likely in painting: art-history oil. can allude back to an ever widening history of mankind. Daniela Palazzoli discussed this at length in a study of paintings which need to be 'read' [26]. I would suggest. simple or complex. That is to say. a Constructivistor Classical art. in fact. Thus.T. or they may be constructed precisely in order to make other elements autonomous'.) Roger Shattuck's distinction between 'classical' and 'heterogeneous'juxtaposition clarifiesthis point [23].M. and while recognizing that 'any drawing is bound to be structural' distinguished between the consciously composed and deeply thought and the non-composed and accidental. we should return to Shattuck's distinction between'classical'and 'heterogeneous'juxtaposition. 'we must envisage the structurein aesthetictermsas more than the skeleton. Her criterion is the degree of associative or syntagmaticrelationships.. In these terms. W. She referred to this relationship as between the 'homogeneous' and the 'discontinuous' (the former containing elements of a similar character. Such a distinction has been made by Peter Plagens under the names of the Constructivist and Surrealist mentalities [22]. within which the homogeneous objectquality and its component parts both adduce meaning. . since this is also pertinent to the relationship of similar or dissimilar images on the drawing surface itself. . that one may somewhat tighten this definition and separate the purely rational and formal creation of an object-image devoid of contrived association from the essentially autobiographical and expressive image. A variety of methods of application is itself suggestive. And referencecan never be far away. One must note that techniques also adduce meaning. He discusses the 'excitement' experienced in heterogeneous juxtaposition where connectives are actively missed. Hence. Experiments with written language have shown that whether one removes skeleton (syntax) or disturbs the image (vocabulary) towards 'nonsense' each is still easily read (as a 'word-chain' or through the remaining framework) [24].' Before leaving this problem of relative homogeneity. This either/or approach to drawing is certainly a convenient one: either emphasizing the structural integrity of the made object or affirmingthe personally spontaneous. Richard Hamilton reminds us that any attempts to create objects without external references are not only futile but retrograde'[25]. as an element relating the aesthetic object to other forms of human creativity of a certain sort'. Even if one could create an entirely homogeneous object. This is basic to the reading of any art-work and requires expansion. if we are to talk of 'structure'at all. conventional symbol of structure and not structure itself. the precedence which Alcopley gives to the image as something floating on a surface and his assertion of the referenceof images. a valuable and useful extra. 1969. have the capacity to enlarge consciousness. operates on the symbology of a structure-convention. Alcopley spoke of 'drawings as structures and non-structures'[21].' pencil and crayon on graph-paper. does what one puts into a drawing refer primarily to itself. nothing is closed because it has too much history-this is. places both his non-structures and his structures on the side of autobiography and expressiveness (even though his structures evidence the conscious composition or arrangement of referential lines. 'if we do not want to revive an old confusion in confounding "form" and "structure". What I am saying is that to talk of things called 'structure' and 'association' (or reference) as alternatives is unnecessarily limiting. however. 10. the latter 'can be classified according to their narrative relationships') and developed it further: 'the elements may depend on others according to more or less close relationships. to other marks (to affirm or resist its association with these marks) or to the whole object? The answer.Drawing as Suspended Narrative 19 Fig. by asserting compositionhomogeneity and object-autonomy. Thus. 'Core: J. its objectcharacter would place it in reference to other such objects. can force emotional responses as well as aesthetic ones and permit both internal and external associations to germinate the imagination of the spectator. Indeed. In this respect. if there are "formal principles" . .. plan or framework of the work of art. one cannot help but grope for 'sense' and total elimination of reference at the service of homogeneity is an impossibility. Palette. Even the assumed neutrality of the grid is therefore evocative. Homogeneity is thus an aspect of a broader narrativeexpression. we can only really define 'structure' by equating it with the art-object itself. In any case.0-75 x 10 25 in. Art exists where we are accustomed to look for it: the 'squared-up' drawing has culturally established itself as where art is. utilizing framework as a symbol of structure to assert its cultural identity as an art object. He continues: 'I marvel that marks and shapes. is that it refers to all of these things and it is the degree to which any aspect begins to achieve prominence that allows us to speak of categories at all. [we must] admit that. we cannot identify them with "structures" in the specific sense of the word' [27]. of course. in contrast to the classical combination of homogeneous elements which produces what he calls an absence of style.

though meanings still exist' [32]. through private convictions as . like a technical drawing: art as a plan. the difference in response to something which may be read existing in (a) a book and (b) an art gallery). The classification of logograms as image-related. I mean that an art qualification depends not entirely upon the characterof the art object in question. there are two opposing forces: the social force. Earlier. and anything so positioned as to imply a lack of awarenessof its context. Directed. there is less likelihood of the transplantedobject being art. the intention of the person who so placed the object was not itself operating in an art context in the first place. A linguistic metaphor will help to explain this. meaningless . where the spiral culturallyacquireda 'revolutionary' meaning as a concept-related symbol and was employed artistically in a factual way [30]. One could imagine a drawing with decided meanings. This requires clarification. Moreover. In the NOTE By 'contextual decisions are in themselves creative'. however. and so on. and the individualist force. which aspires to understanding and which effects 'redundancy' (saying something more than once or in different ways so as to guard against misinterpretation).conventions of line treatment (cf. This need not be contrived-it may develop of itself. In language. The series (cf. since it is also concerned with clarification? However. For example. Yet.20 John Elderfield context of drawing. it can never entirely explain. Fig. leave loose ends that lead back to drawing itself. I do not wish to suggest either that this apparatus becomes a 'sculpture'in its new context (thereare certainphysical and conceptual limits distinguishing all art media) or that 'art object' means a good art object. then it is. In the series as a whole (discounting development as such and considering the four images on parity). visible in any context. The presence of an object in a certain context simply extends the identity of the object towards that context. a catalogue) paintings in a gallery is less likely to function as an art-object compared to a book or books found alone in a gallery. In drawing. in that the representation of alike images in similar contexts reduces the possibilities of 'misinterpretation' in favour of specificity. If. maximizing that part of its inherent qualities which may form an association with the special character of the context (e. synthetic acrylic. for it depends also on (1) the artist's intention and (2) the spectator's adaptability. S. If we are not moved.. lying outside the periphery of the act of drawing. It may substantiate and even confirm. and (2) it is placed in a context where the spectator might reasonably expect to recognize art objects and is willing to do so. concept-related and arbitrary images suggests how images may assume specific meanings in this way [29]. with a key. the presence of similar images in a series of drawingswill itself tend to control meaningresponse in that series as a whole. with instructions (cf.g. but it is not the meaning. 5-8) shows a development towards the final drawing of that series. only a part of the meaning can be conveyed by paraphrase. however.. Malina has criticized the presentation of physical phenomena as works of art where 'the transfigurationof the phenomenon-producing apparatus into an art object is accomplished by merely passing it through the door of an art gallery' [33]. 'I can only say that this may be a correct embryology. enroll its gallery context as a kind of convention referringto the existence of an art framework. Figs. as poetry. one cannot help that the meanings are ambiguous and multiple. say. Rather. might not then writing itself be construed as part of drawing. the attempt to realize brevity to a maximum. the words of this article. I defined drawing as research. even if one aims at precision. which effects 'brevity'(condensation and compression) [31]. Mendelowitz's third category of drawing. talk about the origins and sources of art works and some principlesof organization that one notices have been used in their development but. writing is something outside the periphery of the act of drawing itself. if the observer is not conditioned towards the expectancy of art (coming into the exhibition of phenomenon-producing apparatus either under the impression that it is an exhibition of scientific apparatus. If drawing is about the assessment and assimilation of the experienced. I have discussed the incidence of spiralling forms in relationship to Russian revolutionary art. as I have attempted to do here. a book that accompanies (as. 8) and varieties of shading and colour (cf. that is because the poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words fail. At best. an object does not become an art object if no distinction was recognized between the critical act of changing the identity of the object through context and such other things as presenting 'natural beauty'. Hence. what Dorfles calls 'polysemie' [28]. one drawing of a series which utilizes similar images expresses brevity. be contrived. Eliot has said. subject to the conditions outlined above. 10) may produce a similar effect. I believe that it may. as T. Fig. or unwilling. One may. On the other hand. exhibited as such. however. cited in the first part of this article). there is redundancy. map or diagram. as I suggested earlier. The transplantation of an object into an art (museum or media) context is itself the means of its transformation into art providing that: (1) the object itself is concerned with art as interpretedby the maker or selector. single meanings (Dorfles' 'monosemie') could.

9. 24). in 4. To define art by defining only what we think of as good art. Mass. 115.Monad1. Mental Imagesand Their PictorialRepresentation. 15 (1966).A. Behaviour the Arts (Philadelphia: ChiltonBooks. Ref. BetweenScienceand Art (1965). 7. Dorfles. Palazzoli. Hamilton.Man's Ragefor Chaos:Biology. C. Malina. an object can physically enter an art context-whether or not the object in question previously seemed to exhibit characteristics normally associated with art objects. RecentBritishPainting(London:LundHumphries. 1969).Drawing as SuspendedNarrative to the characterof good art. Peckham. 8). Ringbom. 8. 1969). et en tant qu'element d'un futur objet qui n'est pas un dessin. 26. Ref. D. 5. 1969). 28. Kepes. G. 56. 21 . 1968). Hill. 31. 6).Art in 'The Epoch of the Great Spiritual'. in: 33.in: SelectedProse (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.Form2. R. Ref. Warburg Courtauld 20. 1. 68. The Musicof Poetry(1942). 32. p. 2. 84. 1969)p. Bohm. I have not discussed value. and 25. A Documentary Historyof Art (New York: Doubleday. R. en tant que production d'un objet independant. 6). (Harmondsworth: 11. Theoryof AbstractPainting. 1). Context is thus a conventional structural device. in: 29.Drawingsas Structures Non-structures. (Cf. 27 (1964).The AllegoricalSituation. G. J. S. 11. ArtisticTheory Italy.Photography Painting. OccultElementsin the Early and Institutes 386 (1966). 19.Imageas Language PenguinBooks. 178. 260.Drawing.I. 8. B. Cherry.Artforum 50 (No.TheBanquetYears(London:Faber& Faber. Aesthetics Art Criticism 123(1963). 3. P. (Cf. Le dessin: Une narration suspendue Resum--L'auteur discute le dessin sur trois themes principaux: (1) definition du dessin en tant que processus. On Creativity. 1966)p. 24. Ref. S. Modley. G. Mandelbrojt. (London:Faber & Faber. (Cf.LivingArts3. Bowness..1968)p. 1965)p. Plagens. 15. Ref. 459. and Leonardo 3 (1968). 909. (2) les sources du dessin et leur definition exacte dans le dessin lui-meme. 1. Holt. F. D. Cohen. J. R.Ed. PartI. 59 (1964).ed. 1450-1600(1940)(London:OxfordUniversityPress. non comme une presence de fait. 24. Shattuck. (Cf. 6.For or Againsta Structuralist Aesthetic?. (Cf. 23. Rinehart& Winston.OnHumanCommunication (Cambridge. N. (Cf. E. 11. PartII and Vol. Ref. Elderfield.: M. Blamey. 13. 10. D.1967)p. Ref. The Functionof Drawing.. 2. (Cf.Encyclopaedia WorldArt (London: McGrawHill. The Line of Free Men: Tatlin's'Tower'and the Age of Invention. 22. Ref. 17). 17. Mendelowitz. A. L.1958)p. to rearrangethe adherent meanings of the work) then again the object is unlikely ever to enter the art context. limits the size of the art arena and prohibits the possible creation of the good where the indifferent might previously have existed. Severalauthors. A. et (3) les rapports entre la source et la structure dans le dessin. 1961) of Vol. Brunius.The Uses of Worksof Art. 2. M. J. L'auteur suggere que les rapports entre le dessin et sa source ont une signification tres importante lorsque le dessin se definit. 17). of 22. 1967). and 16. (Cf. Finch. mais comme un processus. I. Ref. ImageandSymbol(London:StudioVista. separate from the object itself. Leonardo 1 3. 12).GraphicSymbolsfor World-Wide Communication.Studio 30.1957)Vol.1966). T. T. car le dessin devient ainsi l'assimilation des donnees de l'esprit et de l'environnement. 177.Drawing (New York: Holt. Some Reflectionson the Differences DATA. M. to ensure recognition of intent that the object is construed as an art-object. IV.StudioInternational 120 (No.T. La definition du dessin proposee par l'auteur etablit une distinction entre le dessin en tant qu'assimilation des sources. J. C. p. Press. 916.Ed. Leonardo 2 (1968). 1953)p. International 162(No. 27. Blunt. Given the existence of conscious intent and willing receptiveness.Towardsa Cold Poetic Image.The Possibilities Drawing. II. and 14. 1959). Eliot.Art International 22 (No. 29. 21. REFERENCES 1. Alcopley. 1). (Cf.J. On 12. 18. Sign. (1970). Ed. 2.

L'auteur suggere. la specificite et la clarte sont considerees comme des prealables a une 'suspension' exacte. La realisation de la narration suspendue fait usage de la differencede contexte entre la source et sa transformationen dessin.22 John EldeJfield L'expression'suspension de narration'est utilisee pour rendrecompte de cette assimilation des sources dans cette activite qu'est le dessin. chacun des deux ajoutant de la signification. La structure se definit comme etant plus que le cadre du tableau. . cependant. mais comme etant identique a l'ensemble du tableau lui-meme. car l'embryologie et la signification n'ont pas besoin de s'accorder. l'engagement et la motivation. elle n'est pas garante de qualite. que. La structure du dessin est considere comme l'aboutissement de la source et de l'objet-caracteredu dessin. ou la repetition d'images semblables reduira une eventuelle mauvaise interpretation en faveur d'une specificite. La signification se fera jour dans chaque ceuvreet se clarifiera dans une serie d'ceuvres similaires. alors que la conscience des sources facilite notablement la prise des decisions. tandis qu'une suspension faite au hasard pourrait denoncer le choix de la source.

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