David Nash: Line of Cut, Elements of Drawing

22.02.97 – 05.04.97

Organised in association with the Henry Moore Institute, David Nash’s exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery was divided into two separate shows that complemented one another: Line of Cut, curated by Robert Hopper, and Elements of Drawing, curated by Nigel Walsh. The former featured a group of wooden sculptures created by Nash between 1979 and 1996 which evidenced his interest in materiality, geometry, and abstraction; and the latter presented his drawings and works on paper.

Line of Cut focused on the idea of the organic and primary form. The artist presented a series of wooden sculptures in the shape of cubes, spheres, and pyramids, and experimented with the nature of different materials such as oak, beech, redwood, Australian pine, palm, and cedar, welcoming the natural fissures and undulations of each kind of wood. This body of work manifested the artist’s exploration of individual forms as well as their relations with one another.

For Elements of Drawing, a series of drawings was selected to give the viewer an insight into Nash’s exploration of primary forms in a bi-dimensional format. The materials he used were charcoal, graphite, pastel, wax crayon, gouache, earth, and mud to search for significant shapes and motifs, whilst also incorporating fire and water to treat the paper.

These exhibitions brought together the sculpted and drawn elements of Nash’s work and revealed his exploration of two different forms of perception, as well as ‘his interest in the recovery and investigation of the primary form’. [Fruitmarket Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1997]

As part of the interpretation programme, the Fruitmarket Gallery organised a series of ten workshops for school children, led by Edinburgh-based sculptor Edward Fellows, and a forum investigating the themes of nature and the environment directed towards secondary school pupils.

Marieta Guzman – Fruitmarket Archive Intern, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2022


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