Drawing Art History

This talk discusses the relevance of art history in contemporary art practice and looks at how drawing, in particular, can be used to disrupt traditional art historical narratives. Drawing art history will be explained as an empathetic act that has the potential to dissolve restrictive, institutional hierarchies. The talk will explore examples from Kara Walker to Leonardo da Vinci to address contemporary concerns related to decolonising the canon, problems with ‘old masters’ and elitism associated with European art history.

Sarah Jaffray is an art historian and educator currently working as Project Officer for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation at the British Museum, a project that explores the role drawing plays in the practice of early-career artists. She has been an art history lecturer since 2003 and has worked directly with museum collections since 2013. Sarah’s specialty is western European modernism, but her research broadly encompasses process, cultural theory, art activism and inclusive curatorial practices. She is currently curating an exhibition that interprets the drawing of Raphael through the work of contemporary artists.