Drawing the Body

Vanessa BairdThe day the ceiling fell downCourtesy the artist 2021



Join Dr Anita Haldemann, Head of Department of Prints and Drawings and Deputy Director, Kunstmuseum Basel, in conversation with three women artists who have contributed work to our Drawing Biennial 2021: Vanessa Baird (Norway), Sandra Vasquez de la Horra (Chile, lives in Berlin), and Zilla Leutenegger (Switzerland). All three artists explore the female body from widely different perspectives in drawing and painting.

This discussion will be hosted live on Zoom 6-7:30pm GMT, Mon 21st June, with live subtitles provided by Stagetext.

About the speakers

Dr Anita Haldemann is Head of Department of Prints and Drawings and Deputy Director, Kunstmuseum Basel and contributed an essay on Vanessa Baird for our recent exhibition catalogue. She also recently curated the exhibition 'Kara Walker A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be' at the Kunstmuseum Basel.  

Born 1963 in Oslo, Vanessa Baird lives and works in Oslo. Baird’s work is story telling of a kind that is both potently provocative and emphatically individual. Her charged creations, made in pastel and watercolour, range from room-size murals to intimate self-portraits and draw on a wide range of references from her own lived experiences, as well as from Scandinavian folklore and literature. Baird’s works are held in public and private collections including The Nordic Watercolour Museum, Skärhamn; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Norsk kulturråd, Oslo; Bergen Billedgalleri; Nordea, Oslo; and Hydro, Oslo.

Sandra Vasquez de la Horra was born 1967 Viña del Mar. 'In order to explain my practice, it's necessary to talk about alchemy and an experimental approach to drawing in three dimensionality – using architecture, installation and other formats. An ensemble which I pin to the wall, reminiscent of practices used in a Natural History Museum, an accumulation of drawings pinned like insects in an organic or geometrical form, each time makes a new improvisation that appears to look like a chaotic story board. My perception of space and dimensions have changed in the last few years, and I have begun to work in large format using cotton paper. I am now putting together a lot of different symbols, typography, and patterns, all of which mean something to me, like poetry, and takes me into another space where I identify better.'

Zilla Leutenegger was born 1968, Zurich, and lives and works in Zurich and Soazza. Leutenegger is foremost known for her signature drawing style, made up of clear, bold strokes and strong colour accents. Dried trickles of acrylic paint tell the story of the drawings creation and are often incorporated into the picture. The artist habitually works simultaneously in her various mediums. Therefore, the works on paper and video installations can often be read as single scenes or chapters of a larger whole. The combining element between the various works is often a person, an object, a chair or a library.  The artist celebrates single moments of every-day life, which develop an unexpected poetry.