Prof Stephen Farthing, RA coming to lecture 13 October

Stephen Farthing in his London studio.

One of the great English painters of our day comes to lecture at Senate House Library on 13 October from 18.00-19.00. Stephen Farthing(b.1950- ) who is Roostein Hopkins Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts, London, has taught at Canterbury College of Art, the Royal College of Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design, Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford and served as Director of the New York Academy of Art. He has exhibited extensively including solo exhibitions at the Royal College of Art Gallery to the Sao Paolo Biennale and shows across the UK, South America and Japan. He was Artist-in-Residence at the Hayward Gallery, London, elected Royal Academician in 1998 and in 2000 was made an Emeritus Fellow of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Plan de dessin
Copyright 2006 – Stephen Farthing

Plan de dessin
Copyright 2006 – Stephen Farthing

Farthing’s research focuses on the taxonomy of drawing, providing us with a more robust understanding of its definition and its context related to its various outputs (in painting and other media) over the centuries. If we are to understand the visual and our place in it, we must understand its various manifestations whether it is via the pencil and paper, tattoos or comic strips, and how these can be ordered. As artists have enveloped other medium, it is Farthing’s work which still goes to the root of immediacy through painting. Come hear him speak about hisPlan de dessin (Plan of drawing) which is on display in the exhibition. The Plan is not a map of the Underground but a visual road map from and of the mind, to connect various ways of drawing.

‘Even though there are many different types of and uses for drawing we more often than not imagine drawing to be all about Art. In my mind, drawing is tied up with writing and mathematics and as such is simply a means of representing thought in two dimensions, so not something that requires framing.
Art appropriated drawing in a way that no other discipline ever managed to. To be an architect, a dress designer, an electrical engineer or cartographer you must be able to draw. Not like Rembrandt, or in the way you learned in the art classes at school, but in a way appropriate to the goal. To draw a map, a circuit diagram, a dress patterns or a floor plan of a building you need to be able to understand, handle and represent large amounts of information accurately visually.
I drew in order to better understand the vast amount of information that is drawing. The lecture: Drawing large amounts of information into a manageable form, maps and explains the drafting strategies I used as I set out to explain drawing by drawing it.’

Stephen Farthing R.A,
Rootstein Hopkins Professor of Drawing, University of the Arts, London

Attendance is free, but tickets are needed for reservation which can be booked here. To see other events on this Series, visit the Exhibition page.

Any questions on this event can be sent to the Curator, Colin J.P. Homiski.

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