Drawing Room is pleased to present a series of recorded conversations that derive from A Companion to Contemporary Drawing, a recently published book edited by Kelly Chorpening and Rebecca Fortnum.

A Companion to Contemporary Drawing explores how 20th and 21st century artists have used drawing to understand and comment on the world. The book explores key themes in contemporary drawing practice, addresses the working conditions and context of artists, and considers a wide range of personal, social, and political considerations that influence artistic choices. A Companion to Contemporary Drawing is part of the acclaimed Wiley Blackwell Companions to Art History series, available here.

This first conversation, between Robert Longo and Kelly Chorpening, is informed by Chapter 19 of the book 'Drawing from Life and the Twenty‐first Century Art School'. The chapter explores what the notion ‘drawing from life’ means for the 21st century artist. Work by contemporary artists William Kentridge, Barbara Walker, Robert Longo, and Tatiana Trouvé is explored in ways that expose how changing demographics and technological innovations enliven drawing practices with renewed purpose.

Robert Longo first rose to prominence as an artist of the Pictures Generation, a movement that emerged out of 1970s New York that asserted a renewed disillusioned relationship to mediated images. During this time, Longo became known for his series Men in the Cities (1979–1983), large-scale photographs and drawings depicting men and women who appeared to be at once dancing and dying. Ever since, Longo has continued to examine the mass consumption of media images through hyperreal charcoal drawings of monumental scale.  Longo lives and works in New York. He is represented by Metro Pictures, New York and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac: London, Paris, Salzburg. 

Kelly Chorpening [pronounced korpening] is a Fine Art Programme Director at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts, London. She has worked extensively in drawing as an artist, writer, curator and educator within fine art and across disciplines, and in a number of national contexts.