A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings


13 June – 5 August

ruby onyinyechi amanze, Karl Haendel, David Haines, Ciprian Muresan, David Musgrave, Lucy Skaer

Drawing Room and Modern Art Oxford jointly present A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings, a group exhibition that celebrates the sustained power of drawing in the digital age. 

The exhibition at Drawing Room brings together a dynamic selection of recent works by 6 international artists who are committed to the materiality of paper and pencil, showcasing a remarkable attention to detail and skill. In an age of mass media, where the rapid proliferation of images leaves many on the verge of digital exhaustion, A Slice Through the World explores the power of traditional drawing to make us slow down and reconsider how we look at the world.

By looking at this ancient communication technology as it meets the newest forms of digitised image culture, A Slice through the World signals the resilience of drawing as a means of responding to contemporary questions of dialogue and representation, reinforcing its status as an inherently interdisciplinary medium that remains central to artistic practice across the world. 

The works presented pay close attention to drawing’s relationship to the complexities and problems of both the past, and the present. Nigerian-born ruby onyinyechi amanze celebrates her transcontinental experiences in large-scale colourful drawings featuring figures cavorting through a borderless space, while American artist Karl Haendel assembles an array of graphite drawings in Weeks in Wet Sheets (2015), an immersive installation on the subject of water split across both venues, suggestive of an online image search realised in three-dimensional space. Turner Prize nominee Lucy Skaer is represented by a colossal ‘black’ drawing’. Up close the viewer is engulfed in a sea of ink lines and swirls; from afar these marks form an image of Hokusai’s Great Wave and of a whale skeleton. Ciprian Muresan contributes a densely worked drawing that records a ten second scene in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev.

As it is now widely understood, drawing is not simply a preliminary activity or working process within an artist’s practice; indeed, some of the artists in this exhibition push drawing towards its extreme limits of finish.  For example, David Haines uses hyper-realism in his contemporary interpretation of the traditional genres of portraiture and still life. David Musgrave’s graphite drawings continue the long artistic tradition of self-consciously employing trompe l’oeil to render paper ephemera; the trick is to identify the suggestion of a human figure within his delicately articulated graphite ground.

A Slice through the World is a collaboration with Modern Art Oxford. The featured artists across the two-venue group exhibition are ruby onyinyechi amanze, Nidhal Chamekh, Milano Chow, Kate Davis, Karl Haendel, David Haines, Ian Kiaer, Ciprian Muresan, David Musgrave, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Kathy Prendergast, Massinissa Selmani, Lucy Skaer and Barbara Walker. Biographies of all the artists in the exhibition can be found on our Artist Directory.

Curator and artists’ tour: 12 June 6-6.30pm
Private view: 12 June 6.30-8pm

Press previews are by appointment 10am-5.30pm on 12 June, when the exhibition artists and curators will be available for interview . Please contact Suzie Jones to arrange.

A Slice through the World runs at Modern Art Oxford from 16 June – 9 September 2018.

Lucy SkaerUntitled (Black Drawing), 2015
Industrial Sharpie pen and pencil on Fabriano Artistico Super-white paper in three parts 436.6 × 421 cm