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The ground of drawing: graphic operations in the 1960s and 1970s

Straine, SE; (2013) The ground of drawing: graphic operations in the 1960s and 1970s. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This thesis aims to rethink the terms for drawing as it negotiated dematerialisation and deskilling at the beginnings of conceptual art in the mid to late 1960s. The survival of drawing at this time is considered in terms of what a ground means in relation to an image, concentrating on questions of finish, temporality, skill, and materiality – most crucially that of paper. Over five monographic chapters, I set out the foundational and flexible proposition of the ground of drawing: an equally material and conceptual framework that disrupts the direct registration of line and trace that process-led accounts of drawing in the expanded field have so often focused on. Accepting both the precision and pollution of drawing as it existed within the mass media landscape of the 1960s and early 1970s, the examples discussed move away from the active flight of linearity in favour of rendering, depiction, narrative or visual deception, revealing drawing’s relationship to the world to be both potently iconic and stubbornly indexical. Chapter 1 tackles drawing’s newly conceptual relationship to trompe l’oeil through Vija Celmins’s use of photographic paper ephemera. Chapter 2 explores the concepts of over-working and after-drawings as together they control and obscure Franz Erhard Walther’s interactive sculptural practice. Chapter 3 reappraises Bill Bollinger’s intermedial practice of sculpture, drawing and installation to focus on his works on paper shaped by industrial gestures and a blindness of technique. In chapter 4 the ground shared by drawing and performance in the work of Alex Hay is used to interrogate the material and conceptual potential of the paper plane – referencing drawing only at an oblique angle. The final chapter thinks through the idea of post-photographic drawing within an image-saturated print and media culture, ultimately reconciling the durational, illusionistic drawing of Ed Ruscha with its hidden processual base.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The ground of drawing: graphic operations in the 1960s and 1970s
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1416487
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