There's something immediately nostalgic about Charles
Kanwischer's graphite drawings. When I first saw them I immediately felt like I
was looking at an old black and white snapshot. But in a way, his simple drawings
are far better than snapshots because in his work you know there's intent
behind the banality of his subject matter and the objects he depicts.
|US 24 Road Project - Support Columns by Charles Kanwischer, 2010,
graphite on panel, 11 3/4 x 15 3/4.
What would be a bad, throwaway photo of a construction site
of a highway or a newly built house sitting on a grassless plot becomes a
drawing loaded with meaning in the hands of Kanwischer. Thoughts arise about
the contradictions of progress as well as how even the most utilitarian forms
can appear monumental in the hands of the right artist. Essentially, any
"snapshot" can turn into an image worthy of interest if an artist presents it
in the right way.
|Untitled (Maumee River) by Charles Kanwischer, 2006, graphite on panel, 11 x 15.
But it is also really good to note that while any bungler
can take a bad snapshot, not everyone can turn one into a quality drawing. That
is what separates Kanwischer. It's obvious he knows how to draw all the basic
forms any student learns to render, and he does use graphite, which is one of
the most humble drawing materials available, but he ends up creating works that
have such an eloquent design and almost romantic patina, despite their being in
black and white.
|Unfinished Road by Charles Kanwischer, 2010, graphite on panel, 11 3/4 x 15 3/4.
I feel like we are in an artistic moment right now with
drawing that embodies the best of the past and the present in art while showing
us where the possibilities for the future lie. Kanwischer is part of that
continuum, and the best resource to find his work and the work of others who reflect
this momentum is in Drawing magazine.
It shows unusual and interesting drawing art from contemporary draftsmen,
classical drawing lessons from established instructors, and drawing ideas that evolve
the practice forward. And you'll get to see more of Kanwischer's work in the
first issue you get with your Drawing