Philip Guston Artist in His Studio 1969

Philip Guston
Artist in His Studio 1969
Charcoal on paper

The UBS Art Collection

This room emphasises the act of mark-making.

The display is the second to be selected by Tate curators from The UBS Art Collection, and explores the immense diversity of drawing as an artistic practice. While this room focuses on the process of mark-making, the other two rooms also look at the role of drawing as a representational or narrative medium.

Drawing is one of the most basic and ancient of artistic activities. The marking of rock faces served as an expression of shared cultural experience from earliest times. The study of such ritualistic and primeval gestures was one of the many impulses that encouraged mid-twentieth century artists to explore the expressive qualities of mark-making. For admirers of Abstract Expressionism, such marks came to be seen as a real-time record of the artist’s presence, carrying associations of individuality and spontaneous action. The drawings shown here by Franz Kline and Helen Frankenthaler capture a sense of energy and movement with an apparent ease that disguises their fine resolution and balance.

The Italian artist Alighiero e Boetti was associated with the Arte Povera movement, who were known for using ‘poor’ everyday or ephemeral materials. The large drawing Aerei belongs to a series known as the ‘biro works’, which he made using ballpoint pens, often inviting assistants and others to handle the pens themselves. A densely-worked surface of biro ink becomes an intense blue sky in this exultant, even visionary image.

Curated by Emma Dexter
Texts by Matthew Gale and Ann Coxon

Works on display

Philip Guston
1913-1980 Born Canada, worked USA
Artist in His Studio 1969
Charcoal on paper
The UBS Art Collection

Lucian Freud
1922 Born Germany, works Britain
Self Portrait 1974
Watercolour and graphite on paper
The UBS Art Collection

David Hockney
1937 Born Britain, works USA
To Queens, New York  1961
Graphite, coloured crayons, rubber stamp and oil on paper
The UBS Art Collection

R.B. Kitaj
1932 Born and works USA
The Poet Writing 1982
Charcoal on green paper
The UBS Art Collection

Michele Zalopany
1955 Born and works USA
City of the Gods 1986
Charcoal and pastel on paper
The UBS Art Collection

Rosemarie Trockel
1952 Born and works Germany
Untitled 1986 1986
Ink and watercolour on paper
The UBS Art Collection