Weisberg’s Drawings | Vladimir Weisberg Foundation


15.09.2022 — 30.10.2022

Weisberg’s Drawings

Location: In artibus Foundation

The third exhibition of Vladimir Weisberg at In artibus Foundation explored his works on paper. Forty drawings from the 1960s to the 1980s were shown, as were several classical watercolours from the collection of Inna Bazhenova.

Vladimir Weisberg did not consider himself a graphic artist and never kept an inventory of his works on paper, although drawing was part of his work for his entire life. After the 1940s and 1950s, when the young Weisberg mastered the virtuoso, primarily portrait drawing style of the Mashkov school and then rejected it, it is difficult to find among his contemporaries an artist who demonstrated so effectively that drawing is an independent art form.

Drawings take on this quality in Weisberg’s oeuvre from the early 1960s. At that time the artist was teaching in the studio of the Institute of Professional Development of the Union of Architects of the USSR (1959–1984) and drawings became a useful pedagogical tool. Weisberg’s 1960s drawings are distinguished by the variety of motifs and materials. In trying various techniques, the artist attempted to establish the vector of his abilities and to understand what he was able to turn his hand to. From the 1960s, Weisberg’s main graphic genres were nudes and landscapes.

By the 1970s and 1980s, Weisberg’s sensuous, spontaneous drawings gradually became more analytical. Now the artist had understood his plastic preferences. His work ranged from classical line drawings made complex with tonal relationships (similar to the drawings of Maillol and Despiau and sometimes Rodin) to ‘painter’s drawings’ made using India ink and a brush, which were more like watercolours.

In the 1980s, Weisberg continued to perfect his drawing technique. Nudes virtually disappeared from his work and still lifes featuring the shelves in his studio appeared. The material was mainly graphite pencil. The compositions were laconic and constructed using the balance of geometry and the painterly mark. Weisberg drew not separate forms but the relationships between them. The outlines of objects dissolved into a spot or the space of the white sheet, which was reminiscent of his paintings — the recreation of a real still life into a compositional structure which, like a crystal, grows organically from the correlation of colour.

For Weisberg, drawing was a constant experiment, search and elucidation of the boundaries of the materials and his own abilities. It was an opportunity to analyse various types of his own spatial perception — architectural, sculptural, linear — and look at his paintings from another angle.

The exhibition included drawings from all stages of Weisberg’s oeuvre other than the earliest, and the main genres of his works on paper — nudes and landscapes.