Football manager's drawing, trying to explain a move to the team
Communicating an idea to people through drawing is not just the province of artists. It's interesting to compare the work of an anonymous football coach above and the work of Janet Cohen below, who has spent many years responding to baseball plays and drawing them. Cohen was one of the artists chosen for the exhibition, 'Drawing as idea and process' and many of the artists in the show used ways of drawing that you might in the past have associated with other professions or which follow rules that can at times appear very non expressive, but which when followed reveal essential things about how we break down experiences in order to make sense of them.
Games are often thought of as practice for war and diagrams of troop movements in relation to fought over territory are sometimes not dissimilar to those used to visualise moves in a football match.
Diagram of the battle of Waterloo
The artist Tiffany Chung has used her awareness of these issues in her work, several times, from the following of changing boundaries during an actual war, as in her work for the 2015 Venice Biennale to her more sociological investigations into how people cross boundaries as they become more urbanized, which she has been exploring more recently. Once again it is process, in this instance one driven by mapping processes that gives form to her ideas.
Detail of threads used to draw lines across a canvas
Hadi Tabatabai: Detail of the artist at work
The use of seriality as a strategy in art was first seen in the work of artists such as Sol Lewitt and Don Judd but it is not always about tight adherence to mathematical permutations. Martin Noël's work was in many ways an exploration of processes of seriality, but he was able to also introduce a deep emotional engagement into his approach.
I find it interesting that the prediction of seriality is as much a test of I.Q. or the growing loss of it, as it is a strategy for the construction of processes for making art. Drawing of course is operating as a way for both artists and the medical profession to test out certain ways of thinking and I would suggest that it is this issue that lies at the centre of what a serial process is about. If this, then this, if a move is made in this direction, the next move ought to be this... from playing chess to following the rules of logic, such as 'for all propositions p, it is impossible for both p and not p to be true', or thinking of an art idea as an argument, which is itself a sequence of statements.
Robert Ryman is an excellent artist to look at when you want to explore how imposing restrictions on work can help generate ideas.
As well as working to his own detailed instructions when developing ideas for paintings and drawings, he has also developed instructions for installations. He will even detail whether or not some works are fastened to the wall with nails or screws, or with a particular sort of glue or drawing pin. Ryman is very aware of how the display of a work changes the viewer experience.
Try and use the time of the Xmas break to think about the possibilities that process brings into being. Even the process of putting Christmas lists together or thinking about new menus can be reused as art, nothing is ever without interest. Happy holidays x.