Don’t let a day go by without drawing a line,” said the mythical ancient Greek painter Apelles, to stress the importance of drawing as a daily exercise for an artist.  A practice accomplishing excellent results by the great Renaissance masters, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo, all highly skilful draughtsmen prior to being painters.  In Giorgio Vasari’s opinion, drawing is the forefather of the three arts, the founding principle of the great masterpieces of painting, sculpture and architecture and the place where they are spawned.

Drawing underwent a transformation in the art of the second half of the 20th century and acquired a more articulated and complex identity.  No longer only a tool of visual experimentation, or a daily exercise tied to an imitation of reality, it acquired the characteristics of an independent linguistic expression, unleashed from the other disciplines of art.  It became a seat of a vision or poetic fragment, the terrain of ideas and the laboratory of thought, of intimate writing and spatial design.  A vision for those artists who explore and prefer the dimension of signs/marks in art, where a line becomes the reserve of a symbolic vocabulary preceding a work and to which it owes its generation.  A project for those artists who find it necessary to fix, on paper, the evolution of a thought leading to a work, the fruit of a planning approach that, in its very expression, is considered a fundamental stage for the genesis of the work.

The intention of this exhibition is to analyze these two aspects of contemporary drawing which have run independently and parallel to one another in Italian art since the 1960s.  Drawing as a vision, practiced by artists focused on the poetic and expressive sides of a work, or drawing as a project by artists of the Conceptual school, the point of departure for poetics coupled to the mental dimension of a work.  Each artist is represented by a single work particularly important to his personal relationship with drawing, as stated in a brief personal interview published by Skira in a catalogue accompanying the exhibition. 

WORKS ON EXHIBITION BY: Carla Accardi, Domenico Bianchi, Alighiero Boetti, Enzo Cucchi, Jannis Kounellis, Fabio Mauri, Mario Merz, Maurizio Mochetti, Nunzio, Luigi Ontani, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alfredi Pirri, Ettore Spalletti, Marco Tirelli and Gilberto Zorio.

A catalogue will be published for the exhibition by SKIRA/OREDARIA.