Matter into Drawing, Drawing into Matter

4.1 Susan_Nemeth
Transformations from the Sèvres ‘Cupid & Venus’ Vase, Drawing by Susan Nemeth


In 1945 through 1946, Pablo Picasso produced a powerful series of drawings of bulls. When you arrange his bulls in order of detail the most detailed is a realistic drawing of a bull. All the features are there.  Picasso step by step simplifies the previous image. The shading of the hide vanishes. The details of the muscle disappear. The texture is gone. The three-dimensionality evaporates. By the last bull, we see a line drawing, but those 1simple marks distill the essence of that bull, its strength and masculinity. The clutter is gone and the essence remains.

This final image was the only one in the series that Picasso entitled the bull. By systematically cutting peripheral parts (being careful not to turn the bull into a cow), we force ourselves to appreciate what’s important. Isolating those elements can give a great deal of focus to life decisions.

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” 

– Pablo Picasso

Bull I 1973 by Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997
Roy Lichenstein, Bull l-Vl,  1973

I have been looking at how we perceive matter by using drawing and painting. Usually children have this perception of what a cow or a monsters might look like and its interesting this perception being then transformed into matter again. How would then a drawing of this transformation end up like? How can I bring this into ceramics? Interesting videos below illustrating this idea.

And now, wondering where my interests are.  Simplification? The clutter is gone and the essence remains? Or is it about perception? All key questions that I would like to explore furthermore.



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BA (Hons) Final Year Ceramics student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Love experimenting with material and techniques and work on a range of medium.

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