‘Raw art’ on display at Sweet Briar

| September 6, 2013

“Gesture, Mark, and the Artist’s Hand: Drawings from the Collection” will open with a reception at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in Pannell Gallery at Sweet Briar College. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will be on view until Dec. 13.

Fernand Léger (1881-1955), Les Plongeurs (The Divers), 1941, ink wash on paper. Sweet Briar College Art Collection and Galleries; gift of the artist, 1941.

The survey is a sampling of the permanent collection’s holdings of works on paper in ink, pencil and pastel and features Renaissance masters as well as leading present-day artists. Some of the works are sketches intended to be preparations for a more finished piece, such as Fernand Léger’s (1881-1955) “Les Plongeurs,” which he donated to the College while visiting campus in the early 1940s. The drawing is part of a series of sketches that led to his big piece “Divers on a Yellow Background,” which can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago. Other works in the exhibit, such as painter Elizabeth Murray’s (1940-2007) colorful multi-piece pastel drawing “Cup,” are finished pieces.

To Sweet Briar galleries director Karol Lawson, it’s the spontaneous nature of drawings that is so compelling. Unlike etchings and engravings, which are “very mechanical,” drawings are “immediate and raw,” she said.

“We get a more intimate idea of what the artist intended. Drawings often seem more vivacious to viewers.”

Lawson notes that this idea will be more fully explored in a corresponding roundtable discussion at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Pannell Gallery. “The Creative Mark” will feature visual and performing artists from the Sweet Briar community who will talk about their own creative process.

Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The gallery closes when the College is not in session; it is recommended that visitors call ahead to confirm hours. For more information, email Karol Lawson at klawson@sbc.edu or call (434) 381-6248.

Janika Carey

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Category: Art Galleries