cover image Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing

Editors of Phaidon. Introduction by Christian Rattemeyer. Phaidon, $69.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6528-7

This handsome sequel to Phaidon’s 2005 contemporary drawing survey, Vitamin D, is a generous overview of the last eight years in drawing, a medium traditionally perceived as playing a lesser role in visual art, but one that, nevertheless, carries spontaneity, humor, and political bite—traits that characterize this broad and richly illustrated volume. Nominated by 78 curators, critics, art historians, and museum and gallery directors, the 115 represented artists (some emerging, some established) convey the limitless possibilities of the medium, not to mention the staggering diversity of recent art. Neal Fox’s massacred Disney characters appear alongside Richard Forster’s photorealistic sketches of Dresden and Vidya Gastaldon’s La Tentation de St. Antione, which could be an illumination from a psychedelic children’s Bible. Other artists dramatically widen the category, such as performance artist Nikhil Chopra, who is pictured smeared in charcoal, splayed on the ground, and wearing a tutu and heels. The artists in the book hail from over 40 countries, making the volume broader in international scope than its predecessor. Rattemeyer, associate curator of drawings at MOMA, writes that since 2005, the “dichotomy of Western normalcy and non-Western exception... has unfolded into a more global dialogue.” As a result, “drawing is regaining a political urgency.” 500 illus. (June)