A British Museum touring exhibition - Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now.
Pushing Paper illustrates how artists experiment with the power of paper to express their ideas, pushing the medium in new directions.
Amongst the oldest forms of human creativity, drawing is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as artists increasingly choose the medium to examine the modern world, with topics ranging from explorations of gender and political activism, to questions of belonging and human sexuality.
For the first time, the British Museum co-curated this exhibition with partner museums from around the UK, including Durham University. In a new way of working, curatorial staff collaborated with the British Museum to decide on themes within the exhibition and to research and select the works on display, as well as contribute chapters to the accompanying catalogue.
The artists in our first theme process and question the turbulent world around us, acting as enablers for change and asking whether a drawing has the power to change the world.
Systems & Process
One thing all the drawings in Pushing Paper have in common is the use of a line. From this simple line, different movements and ways of creating have emerged, but drawing remains key to the fundamental basics.
Place & Space
The earliest surviving drawings, made in prehistoric caves, show how humans have always been fascinated with turning an empty ‘space’ into a ‘place’; imbuing it with meaning and marking their presence.
Everyone has multiple identities based on religion, race, politics, language, culture, profession, sexuality, and gender to name a few.
Time & Memory
Explores the use of drawing to depict the marking of time, evoking the memories of the artists and viewers.
Pushing Paper online exhibition
Pushing Paper online exhibition – a digital version of the exhibition, including introductory texts, films of the exhibition, images and highlighted artists and artworks.
When people protest, they come together to show that they feel strongly about something, that they either like or dislike something. This can make you feel powerful in your likes, dislikes, beliefs and ideas.