Sunday, August 13, 2023

Art I'm Looking At: Drawing the Line at the Legion of Honor

I went into San Francisco on Friday to see what was on at the Legion of Honor. I posted yesterday about the spectacular Holbeins in the Tudor show there through September 24. Today I'm posting about a small, easy-to-miss exhibition in the Achenbach Foundation gallery that's down one of the side hallways downstairs at the Legion, which was an unexpected pleasure. Entitled "Drawing the Line: Michelangelo to Asawa," a selection of work from the museum's collection of works on paper. 

According to the museum, the show is intended to highlight drawings that emphasize the use of a prominent outline. I'm not sure all of the selections make sense from that perspective, but everything on the wall is worth looking at. 

To quote from the Legion of Honor/De Young Museum website,"The selection ranges from minimal line drawings by Michelangelo and Andy Warhol to fluid figure studies by Pablo Picasso and Ruth Asawa. One of our most treasured works, Paul Gauguin’s large-scale portrait L’Arl├ęsienne (Madame Ginoux) (1888) is on display for the first time in more than a decade." 

If you enjoy the art of drawing, the Legion of Honor is worth a visit right now just for the chance to see this group of gems. "Drawing the Line" will be on view through February 25, 2024. I've chosen some of my favorites here, but these represent only about a small fraction of what's on view.

Pictured here, top to bottom: 

1. Charles DeMuth, Apples and Carrots, c. 1926. Watercolor

2. Auguste Rodin, Nude with Legs Spread, c. 1900-1914. Graphite and watercolor on wove paper

3. William Blake, The Complaint of Job, c. 1786. Brush with wash over graphite

4. Willem de Kooning, Untitled (two figures), c. 1947. Paint, watercolor, charcoal, graphite

5. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Young Couple Praying by a River and Young Woman Looking to Her Right, c. 1860. Brush with red and black ink

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