Drawing, or the use of a marking implement to render a figurative or abstract design on a surface, was for much of art history a mark of pride and a necessary skill for serious artists. Old Masters like da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Ingres were renowned for their exquisite draftsmanship, and drawing was a point of extensive training for art students as well as for other members of the educated classes. Over the last century, however, the advent of expressionistic and abstract movements in art have made a classical command of drawing less necessary. While some of the great artists working at the middle of the century were remarkable draftsmen--Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon among them--others, famously Jackson Pollock, did not suffer much in reputation for being lost in the medium.
Since then drawing has had an uneven reception by artists, with some dismissing its old-fashioned demands as hidebound and others, like Vija Celmins and Karl Haendel, embracing the medium with an obsessive dedication. Developments in technology have also affected drawing--where once it was most carried out in ink, lead, or charcoal, today it is often done on computers or through harnessing other electronic devices, as in the work of Wade Guyton.(read less)