Lines of Thought
From the British Museum
Throughout history, drawing has remained the ultimate thinking medium. From recording and generating ideas to analyzing, developing, and refining them, drawing constitutes a key conceptual tool at every stage of the artistic process. To borrow a phrase from writer Virginia Woolf, a drawing captures the “likeness of a thought,” rendering visible ideas and decisions that are often eliminated from a finished work. As a method of inquiry, drawing enables a deeper understanding of its object, and through studying drawings and making drawn responses, we can turn this process of reflection back on itself, gaining a greater familiarity with artists’ thoughts and methods. Drawings allow us privileged insights into the process of creation. Invaluable lessons can be learned looking at earlier works in the context of artists working today.