Arts Council Collection


Drawn From Life: People on Paper


Usher Gallery, Lincoln 26 February 2016 - 17 April 2016
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 29 October - 17 December

Artists have been drawing the human figure for centuries, from carefully composed life drawings to people caught unaware at leisure or work. This exhibition brings together some of the finest drawings in the Arts Council Collection with loans from the British Council Collection.  It begins in the early twentieth century with Gwen John’s delicate lines, the intricate patterns of Harold Gilman and the precision of William Roberts.  Mid-twentieth-century works include the whimsical lines of George Fullard and John Golding and the bold markings of Frank Auerbach and John Bratby.  The story is brought up to the present with the imaginary figures of Charles Avery and Mimei Thompson.

Though there are sometimes surprising similarities across the decades, there is also a great diversity of techniques and approaches. The majority are drawn from observation, though some are from memory or imagination; some are unfinished studies while others are finished works in their own right.   Perhaps some of the most surprising examples are those from very early on in artists’ careers, such as a self-portrait by Richard Hamilton from 1938, the carefully drawn Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin, 1952 and Eduardo Paolozzi’s Drawings from Rembrandt, 1945. 

The tour opens at the Usher Gallery, Lincoln and will continue to Winchester, Knowsley, Kendal, Banbridge, Canterbury and Leamington Spa.