“The drawing hand senses the page; it inscribes the lines, supplementing sight as if a third eye had opened at the tip of the fingers; it grows right next to the nail.”
Free after Merleau-Ponty; in: Jacques Derrida, Memoirs of the Blind
The university course for Nude Drawing focuses on practical drawing from models. Additional stimulus is provided by visual aids in the form of projected picture series.
Perceiving and capturing
In many ways life drawing can be seen as a means of training perceptive faculties. Firstly the realistic representation of a human being requires an accurate observation of the model: correctly capturing proportions, understanding the functional connections between the different parts of the body, and perceiving the space surrounding the figure and the prevailing light conditions. Secondly, the impact of the lines (or flecks of colour) inscribed as part of the drawing process must also be keenly observed, especially if their formal interplay is to create the illusion of plasticity and three-dimensionality.
Inspired by history
Historical examples from the Renaissance through to the 19th century illustrate the materials and techniques that were used to achieve the most realistic effect possible. At the time, drawing was used as a way of understanding the world and imitating divine creation. For any artist, studying the human body was of crucial importance, and life drawing was a means of exploring man as the “crown of creation”.
In the modernist era the significance of nude drawing began to shift. The artist’s individual insights
and personal expressive intent took centre stage in concepts of drawing. The human body became a “landscape of the soul”. It was no longer a matter of creating ideal types, of fathoming out a universal order and such like, but of developing individual concepts of what it means to be a human being. The outside stimulus (perception) stood on a par with the artist’s emotion and conception. What came to the fore now was the artist’s own vision of things (which also included the human body). Illustrative examples include figurative artworks from the 19th century to the present and life drawings by students.
Modernism’s image of man was (and still is) continually called into question, from postmodernism to the present. Whatever objectives today’s students may have in mind, the model remains the common starting point that allows a discussion to ensue, easing access to the modes of expression of others.
Head of course
Mag. art. Annelies Oberdanner
Sonnensteinstraße 11-14, 4th floor,
Ro.no. 4.07, A-4040 Linz
T: +43 (0)664 732 88658 email@example.com
Thu.: 12.30 to 3.30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. and by appointment