‘Drawing is one of the first things a child does; it is one of the disciplines that have to be mastered: one of the foundations on which the arts are built,’ we read on the cover of Drawing. The Bottom Line. This catalogue from S.M.A.K. (the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art) in Ghent shows us the various dimensions of drawing as a form of contemporary art, from abstract to figurative, in formats large and small, from swift sketches to slow projects on the grand scale, all framed between essays by Philippe Van Cauteren, Martin Germann and John Berger.
The result is a well thought-out book in which the superb choice of paper strikes one immediately, like the grey cloth inner binding. The concept seems rather contrived and transparent to begin with, but in some strange way designer Jurgen Persijn cleverly gets away with it. For example, take a look at the extraordinary placing of the captions and the tightly justified introductory text. Never for a moment is this book boring, ‘thanks to the brilliant layout’. With respect for tradition a highly diverse range of artists have here been given generous space in a modern and honest book with a tactile cover.