Drawing Biennial 2019


20 February – 3 March 2019

Announcing the highly anticipated 2019 edition of Drawing Biennial.  

Own a part of the story of contemporary drawing. An exhibition and auction of over 200 unique drawings showcasing the most exciting artists working today.

Contributing artists include Caroline Achaintre (FR), Eleanor Antin (US), Salvatore Arancio (IT), Art & Language (UK), David Austen (UK), Charles Avery (UK), Marc Bauer (CH), Rana Begum (BD), Yifat Bezalel (IL), Huma Bhabha (PK), Juliette Blightman (UK), Martin Boyce (UK), Sonia Boyce (UK), Lisa Brice (ZA), Andrea Büttner (DE), Jyll Bradley (UK), Nidhal Chamekh (TN), Alice Channer (UK), Nikhal Chopra (IN), Rhys Coren (UK), Ronald Cornelissen (NL), Jesse Darling (UK), Richard Deacon (UK), Michael Dean (UK), Nicolas Deshayes (FR), Aleana Egan (IE), Leo Fitzmaurice (UK), Ryan Gander (UK), Margarita Gluzberg (RU), Patrick Goddard (UK), Lothar Götz (DE), Penny Goring (UK), Antony Gormley (UK), Oona Grimes (UK), Nilbar Güreş (TR), David Haines (UK), Mona Hatoum (PS), Karl Holmqvist (SE), Marie Jacotey (FR), Chantal Joffe (UK), Idris Khan (UK), Radhika Khimji (OM), Michael Landy (UK), Christopher Le Brun (UK), Alice Maher (IE), Lisa Milroy (CA), Ryan Mosley (UK), Ciprian Mureşan (RO), Timo Nasseri (DE), Paul Noble (UK), David Noonan (AU), Athena Papadopoulos (CA), Fani Parali (GR), Cornelia Parker (UK), Hetain Patel (UK), Grayson Perry (UK), Kathy Prendergast (IE), Hiraki Sawa (JP), George Shaw (UK), Raqib Shaw (IN), Devlin Shea (US), Mark Sheinkman (US), Bob & Roberta Smith (UK), Emma Talbot (UK), Jiří Thýn (CZ), Nicola Tyson (UK), Francis Upritchard (NZ), Sandra Vasquez de la Horra (CL), Charlotte Verity (DE), Jessica Voorsanger (US), Mark Wallinger (UK), Alison Wilding (UK), Bedwyr Williams (UK), Rose Wylie (UK), Jérôme Zonder (FR) and many others. .

Including works using every imaginable technique, Drawing Biennial 2019 affirms the centrality of drawing to all spheres of artistic production. The exhibition includes more than 200 new and recent works works on paper by leading international artists of different generations. Artists associated with the medium of drawing such as Charles Avery, Huma Bhabha, Nikhil Chopra and Kathy Prendergast sit alongside those better known as sculptors, such as Richard Deacon, Francis Upritchard and Alison Wilding, or as painters, such as Ryan Mosley and George Shaw

Culminating in an online auction in the exhibition’s final two weeks, all works are available to purchase from a starting bid of £300. Proceeds from the auction support Drawing Room’s exhibition, learning and publishing programme and growth of its unique study library. Artists have been invited to make an original drawing by Drawing Room directors Mary Doyle, Kate Macfarlane and Katharine Stout, with additional nominations by leading international artists, museum directors, curators and collectors.

Drawing Biennial 2019 signals the diversity of artists’ imagination, demonstrating the vitality and importance of drawing today. Themes include:

TRANSFORMATION: drawing is utilised to magically transform one being or form into another. The muted, washy palette of Francis Upritchard’s mythical Centaur Having a Nightmare, contrasts with Raqib Shaw’s The Whistle Blower, a shackled bird-man, beguiling in its bejewelled colours. In contrast Ronald Cornelissen’s man-birds or man-machines are raw and direct. 

FIGURES: variously contorted, sprawling, imprisoned, or isolated include Emma Talbot’s autobiographical female form that emerges from the rocks to free itself and Penny Goring's figure with ‘bad legs, bad bum, bad back’ which she describes as a drawing ‘about the violence of austerity’.  In Sandra Vasquez de la Horra’s richly worked graphite drawing, ghost-like heads appear in swirls of smoke. Athena Papadopoulos uses rapeseed oil, eyeliner, lipstick and mascara to create a double-headed, amorphous body. Huma Bhabha’s head combines popular culture and horror in her spider man collage, his shoulder pads morphing into the eyes of a monster. Jesse Darling’s afflicted figure of Pinocchio catches aflame, slowly burning in hazy coloured pencil, whilst Ryan Gander describes his minimal line drawing of two candles, one snuffed out, as a ‘sketch about the anxiety of influence, fear of mortality and Parapossible cognitive time travel.’ Drawing also allows for contemplation, as we see in Marie Jacotey’s intimate drawing of a female figure reflected in a mirror, surrounded by forest and hills which examines her favourite subjects of ‘feisty women, stiff sensuality and lush countryside.’

PORTRAITS AND HOMAGES: Turner prize winner George Shaw always responds to our invitation by drawing portraits of characters from B movies or popular TV series of the 70s – in this case Olive from ‘On the Buses’.  Rose Wylie has used a patchwork of techniques to pay homage to Alice Neal’s painting of Faith Ringgold.

This exhibition shows drawing to be nimble and responsive, equally able to deliver punchy political messages, such as Michael Landy’s Brexshit, and to reflect on the natural world, such as the delicate drawing by Kathy Prendergast: ‘The Christmas cactus, like other cacti, survives on very little yet produce blossoms of extraordinary beauty’.


Drawing Room is the place to discover contemporary drawing. It is an internationally renowned, not-for-profit gallery and library dedicated to opening up the world of drawing to everyone.

Richard WilsonProposed US Border with MexicoPencil, ink and print on paper, 29.5 x 21.1 cm