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Hand Drawn Action Packed


Hayward Gallery Touring presents Hand Drawn Action Packed

Opening in the new St Albans Museum + Art Gallery, in association with the University of Hertfordshire

2 September – 11 November, then touring to Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Swansea

Hand Drawn Action Packed features ten international artists whose practice springs from drawing and reveals the medium’s infinite possibilities for narrative invention: Marcel DramaMarcel van EedenInci EvinerYun-Fei JiWilliam KentridgeNalini MalaniOtobong NkangaRaymond PetitionAmy Sillman and Rinus Van de Velde.

The exhibition explores narrative in drawing and its many forms: from stories unfolding through a sequence, to single images combined with words, and animation. The artists in Hand Drawn Action Packed make imaginative use of their tools – from a smartphone, a stick of charcoal to pen and ink – for story-telling, social critique and political allegory.

Three artists have created new works especially for the exhibition. Marcel van Eeden (b. 1965, Netherlands) who mixes fact and fiction in a series of 28 film noir style drawings, inspired by a 1936 newspaper report of a body found in a ditch on the outskirts of St Albans. Otobong Nkanga (b. 1974, Nigeria) visualises humanity’s relationship with the earth’s resources in a suite of pictographic acrylics, illustrating the politics and poetics of geography. Rinus Van de Velde (b. 1983, Belgium) has made two large scale charcoal drawings on canvas that depict an imaginary artist, a self-mythologising painter who is preparing his own story for prosperity.

Like van Eeden and Van de Velde, Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957, USA) mixes image and text in his drawings, in ways that open up the meaning of both. Language generates imagery in the animated drawings of Amy Sillman (b. 1955, USA), created by using smartphone technology and in collaboration with poet Lisa Robinson, or in a different work, in response to Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’.

In the video animation by Inci Eviner (b. 1956, Turkey) human figures interact robotically with a hand-drawn underground scene – an allegory of artistic resistance and tyranny. Political realities are subtly communicated in Yun-Fei Ji’s (b. 1963, China) brush and ink scroll drawings depicting dispossession, forced migration and dictatorial power.

Hindu cosmologies and fantasmatic creatures are present in Indian artist Nalini Malani’s (b. 1946, Karachi) painterly drawings on Mylar, whist her animated film – which references Greek mythology – is a quiet meditation on transience. William Kentridge’s (b. 1955, South Africa) sequence of intimate charcoal drawings of a woman getting into the bath are like stills in one of his renowned stop-frame animations.Marcel Dzama’s (b. 1974, Canada) portrays a theatrical world of masked and costumed performers in delicately drawn illustrations.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated zine-style publication, designed by Stinsensqueeze, which maintains the spirit of the exhibition and features texts by exhibition curator Roger Malbert.

Roger Malbert, curator of the exhibition said“This is an all-star cast of brilliant artists, from many different backgrounds, and shows how many ways there are to tell stories and depict the complexities of the world with the simplest of means.”


About Hayward Gallery Touring

Hayward Gallery Touring organises contemporary art exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. In collaboration with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions, Hayward Gallery Touring develops imaginative exhibitions that are seen by up to half a million people in over 45 cities and towns each year.