Drawing Inventory

Waldemar A. Schmidt Gallery, Wartburg College 100 Wartburg Blvd., Waverly, IA

Drawing, the search and experimentation of ideas and forms, is an essential part of an artist’s practice. Whether depicting details of a particular person or place, presenting a message or question, or creating an illusion, artists often draw from the world around them, capturing their observations and experiences.

As an activity, drawing offers the most direct way of recording an artist’s thoughts, explorations, and observations. Unlike painting and sculpture, drawing is not inhibited by an obligation to create a final, finished object. Instead, the drawing process allows artists to experiment and explore concepts freely, without having to concern themselves with the realities of material or space. Drawings, as objects, take a variety of forms, functioning as informal studies, historical documents, narratives, or records of passing observations. Today, artists continue to expand the traditional definition of drawing by including unconventional media and applications.

The definition of drawing has come to describe an endless array of creative approaches with an extraordinary range of physical manifestations. The works presented here explore a wide variety of drawing subjects undertaken by artists represented in the UIMA permanent collection. Pivotal artists such as Sam Francis, Ellen Lanyon, Robert Michel, Lil Picard, and Frederick Kiesler are included in this exhibition.  For a full checklist of works included in the exhibition, please see here.  A gallery guide to the exhibition is available here.  A related news article may be seen here.

This exhibition is curated by Sarika Sugla, Assistant Curator at the UIMA, and is organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.


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Sam Francis American (1923–1994)


, 1964
Gouache on paper, 13 3/4 x 9 3/4 in.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Rickey, 1978.231, © 2015 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY