In what can arguably be described as vibrant, On Line: Drawing through the Twentieth Century provides an extensive survey at the transformation of drawing from 1910 through 2010. This periodic timeline intelligibly displays drawings technical transition from a formal mode of academic exploration, to its procedural development into spatial abstraction. The exhibition thus invites the audience to consider an increasingly global communicative advancement; a universal language that is as auditory as is visually expressive. The eclectic works on display range from the explorative studies of Kandinsky’s watercolour drawings (1925), to Agnes Martin’s sensually grid work The Tree (1964) to Anthony McCall’s effortless Five minute Drawing (1975), to Ranjani Shetter’s cosmically ambitious installation Just a Bit More (2005). Inspiring does certainly encapsulate the evolution of drawing as once a tool for academic development, to a mode of personal exploration.
Additionally, On Line inherently presents the technological innovations that served as the catalyst for drawings abstract and political progression. Sculptures, digital media, and even performance art creatively reflect the development between existentialism and drawing such as the exquisite simplicity of Rodchenko’s Spatial Construction no. 12 (1920). Even the banality of Krasinki’s illogical blue installation (1970), to the unintelligible Schneeman video installation Up to and Including Her Limits (1973-1976), affords a perceptive outlook into the procreation of media and drawing.
Although a historically poignant exhibition, On Line futilely categorises the works in an attempt to “label and identify”- as one would do with insect specimens. Nonetheless an incisively coherent survey of line’s conventional and creative duality.