Drawing often provides the foundation, structure and context for a work of art. Artists use drawing as a way to instigate image making and representation, although some artists don’t just see drawing as a prepatory form, (traditional), but as a complete finished piece in itself.

Bentley Gallery represents works by artists using pencil, graphite, pen and ink, color pencil, chalk, and pastels. Drawings and works on paper can also be in the form of watercolors, gouaches, collages and works in mixed mediums. Drawings can be on paper, canvas, board and many other materials. These drawings can cover a wide range of genres and styles. The range of imagery includes architectural drawings, figure drawings, portraits drawings, and abstract drawings.

Artist Wassily Kandinsky described drawing: “From these two graphic entities – point and line – derive the entire resources of a whole realm of art, graphics. Each creates a particular, specific world, from schematic limitation to unlimited expressivity. These worlds liberate line more and more from the instrument, leading to complete freedom of expression.”

Bentley Gallery artists use pencils and inks, graphite watercolors, and collage express experiences and document the world in both its expansiveness and smallest details. Some details urban experiences; others describe nature, while several address a connection to both. Through drawing they share cultural information and historical references. Using narratives, symbolism and in some cases extensive research, these artists create works on paper and drawings that mark the mundane as extraordinary.

Example: The late 1960s and early 1970s marked a great deal of change in Richard Serra’s studio practice. During that time Serra shifted away from his abstract, process-based work to outdoor, site-specific, monumental sculpture. Positioning freestanding pieces of sheet metal, Serra would bisect a site to define the space. That approach to sculpture and installation evolved over the next several decades, with the goal in mind to close the gap in distance between object and viewer and allow viewers to walk into, through, and around his work. During the same time that his first monumental sculptures were installed, Serra began creating works on paper. The drawings and prints are not preparatory studies for sculptures, but instead come after a sculpture is complete, a way for the artist to review and notate the spatial relationships of the piece. Between the Torus and the Sphere I-V references shapes new to Serra’s sculptural vocabulary in the early 2000s. The toroid and spheroid shapes have been paired together in a number of installations to create interior volumes that cannot be accessed by the viewer. This monumental work on paper explores the layers of sheet metal that form the walls around that interior space. His works on paper have a similar effect to his well-known steel sculptures, welcoming viewers to explore curvatures, passages, and fields. In addition to his commissioned sculptures, Serra’s work can be found in countless public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Dia: Beacon, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Drawings at Bentley Gallery include works by William Anastasi, Tamara de Lempicka, Mark Pomilio, Richard Serra, George Thiewes, Mala Breuer, Will Berry, and others.