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What is the sculptor's drawing?

A specific, objectified pictorial world balancing on the borderline of dimensions. The practicians of a clumsy trade linked to material entrust their message to a more direct medium while they allow the interior laws of their chosen genre to act and exert their effect, and so, quasi unintentionally, they produce an autonomous work.

Academist, educated on pure principles, could even consider it as a mixture of two genres, if it were not provisional moment of fertile ideas.

One may compare such drawings to a fi lm story or the multitude of literary works in which scholars and politicians were spontaneously seduced by belletristic inspiration. The writings of Lincoln and Churchill, Hume and Russell, put them beside Milton and Shaw, among the masters of English prose. True, these erudite authors cannot compete with other great men in the realm of fiction, their tool is not descriptive, epic prose, their true medium of expression is the lyrical, or eventually dramatically convincing artistic essay.

Sculptors’ drawings also avoid long-winded exhaustive details, the small oscillations of atmosphere: they do not represent landscapes, interiors of still-lifes but a formal order of ideas in a reduced space, a sort of visual essay under the pretext of a single motif.

The plane, this compliant terrain of meditation about the possibilities of a third dimension, is filled with secret tensions in the wake of the sculptor’s pencil. The surface breaks and shifts: the stressed space which has animated and enriched the painting arts for millennia appears and vibrates to our days, forced beneath the frontal surface of reliefs or between the iconesque line-grids of frescoes. The assaults launched by the genres from this common base to conquer the third dimension have produced the spectacular evacuation of space. Paintings, losing their rich frame of reference, became windows opening on the world, and sculptures, in the absence of strict interior spatial definition, became objects.

Only the periodical returns to the fertile plane, the original visual home, or individual intellectual expeditions, such as the sculptor’s drawing, were able to bring renewal and meaningful formal fullness.

Both the fi lm story and the scholarly essay, despite their recognized belletristic qualities, must preserve their separateness. The surplus which the projection of these two major intellectual fields upon each other signifies, the possibility of crude intervention of reality into the purely literary, also excludes it from its own spheres.

The sculptor’s drawing, with its permanent readiness to become objectified and transcend the plane, and its lack of interest for the well-tried tricks of restoring the surface to life, has been pushed out to a no man’s land. Hence, stressing that its values derive from the common region of source of all visual genres, it has withdrawn shyly.

This catalogue is a collection of visual essays, leaving the discovery of the characteristics of sculptor’s drawings to perusers of the volume (the visitors of the exhibition), offering the magic moment of changing of dimensions as an experience.

(2nd National Sculptural Drawing Biennial. Budatétény Gallery, 14 March – 12 April 1992, pp. 9–15. unnumbered pages)

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