Summary

This is one of a group of eight drawings in Tate’s collection with the same title, Drawing for Sculpture, which date from the 1960s and early 1970s. Each one is drawn on a sheet of squared paper. Some of the sheets are headed ‘CALCULATION SHEET’ and bear the imprint of British Hydrocarbon Chemicals Ltd, which later merged with BP. Araeen produced most of these drawings while he was working as a civil engineering assistant in London. Ranging from precisely drawn preparatory sketches for sculptures to more immediate free-hand line drawings accompanied by the artist’s notes, the drawings collectively provide an insight into Araeen’s working processes, informed by his early training as a civil engineer. For economic reasons many of Araeen’s early proposals were never realised as finished sculptures. These eight drawings were shown in Rasheed Araeen, Before and After Minimalism 1959–1974 at Aicon Gallery, London in 2010.

Drawing for Sculpture 1967 is drawn in pencil on an unheaded sheet of graph paper and presents a sketch for a sculpture that resembles Rang Baranga 1969 (Tate T12409) and Boo 1969, for which Araeen was awarded the John Moores Prize in 1969. These sculptures consist of a lattice-box structure of painted wood. Carefully drawn from three different perspectives and labeled with measurements, the drawing shows how the three-dimensional structure is created by the layering and intersection of straight lines. In the finished sculpture, executed in wood and painted, the overlapping lines create a rippling optical effect that introduces movement and dynamism into the work.

Further reading
From Modernism to Postmodernism, Rasheed Araeen, A Retrospective: 1959–1987, exhibition catalogue, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 1987.
Rasheed Araeen, exhibition catalogue, South London Gallery, London 1994.
Rasheed Araeen, Before and After Minimalism 1959–1974, exhibition catalogue, Aicon Gallery, London 2010.

Leyla Fakhr
November 2010