LAURA J. HOPTMAN / MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (NEW YORK, N.Y.)
From John Currin's old-master-style Playboy bunnies to Elizabeth Peyton's fin-de-siècle portraits; from Julie Mehretu's dizzying, multilayered architectural landscapes to Shahzia Sikander's multipatterned miniature ones; from Yoshitomo Nara's angry and enigmatic little girls to Kara Walker's stereotypical negresses; and from Barry McGee's caricatures of urban graffiti to Matthew Ritchie's cosmological diagrams--drawing is back, if it ever went away. In contrast to the digitized, multimedia direction that much of contemporary art has taken in the past decade, drawing has become a major and arguably parallel mode of expression for many of today's most important young artists. Drawing Now, published to accompany the first major survey of contemporary drawings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 15 years, contains more than 100 color reproductions of work by 26 international artists, both well-known and emerging, that demonstrate the fascinating variety of methods and approaches, mediums and scales, apparent in this old-again, new-again art. Accompanying essays by the exhibition's curator, Laura Hoptman, explore eight themes that she perceives in the field--Drafting & Architecture, Mental Maps & Metaphysics, Popular Culture & National Culture, Fashion, Likeness & Allegory, Envisioning a City, Science & Art, Comics & Other Subcultures, Ornament & Crime--and provide key impulses behind drawing's recent resurgence.