Art Readers and Viewers

A collection of drawings from visits to art galleries, where viewers look at artworks, read about them and their context.

Having come across Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists by chance (my daughter brought it on holiday ) I landed on Chapter VIII: ‘Art includes observations on museums, art galleries and the presentation of religious and contemporary art,’ which is relevant to the series of drawings in collected in this online gallery.

‘A series of images by the German photographer Thomas Struth which shows us tourists making their way around some of the world’s great museums.  Patently unable to draw much sustenance from their surroundings, they stand bemused in front of annunciations and crucifixions, dutifully consulting their catalogues, perhaps taking in the date of a work or the artist’s name, while before them a line of crimson blood trickles down the muscular leg of the son of god or a dove hovers in cerulean sky. They appear to want to be transformed by art, but the lightning bolts they are waiting for never appear. They resemble the disappointed participants in a failed seance. The puzzlement shared by CM goers only increases when we turn to the art of our own area. We look at a neon wall version of the alphabet. We take innovative gelatins water in with sheets of aluminium fixed to automatically swing back and forth to the amplified sound of a human heartbeat. We watch a film of an elderly woman slicing an apple, into a cup with footage of a lion running across the Savannah. And we think to ourselves only an idiot or a reactionary would dare to ask what all this could mean. The only certainty is that neither the artist nor the museum is going to help us: wall texts are kept to minimum; catalogues are enigmatically written. It would take a brave soul to raise a hand.’

The collection of ongoing pictures included here are of visitors to art galleries looking to enhance their understanding of the art they are witnessing and from time to time experiencing lightning bolts.


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Slide Show followed by individual digital drawings made on an iPad, with Apple Pencil and ProCreate

“Every art exhibition addresses process. The labels next to a work of art proudly display the media used to create each piece, providing insight into the artist’s method of production. For example, in regarding the label next to Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) at the Museum of Modern Art, the viewer would learn that the artist used oil paint on canvas. The wall text for this piece slightly expands this most basic view into artistic process, referencing the artist’s sources and preparatory studies. In spite of these mentions, however, such a description maintains a simple definition of process focussed on materials. Unfolding Process: Conceptual Material and Practice on Paper aims to redefine the definition  of artistic process in order to highlight not only the physical, but also the mental activity behind a work of art.”  

 Sarah Humphreville. Introduction to Unfolding Process. Cornell University. March – June 2009, and with thanks to the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art.

Mark Rothko encouraged viewers of his paintings ‘to encounter them at close quarters, so the first experience is to be within the picture.’ His belief was that the position of his works , rather than a text, could aid viewers in their response.’  The Rothko Book,  Bonnie Clearwater. 2006.Tate. 


Andrew Jackson, From a small island, MAC Birmingham

M is for the history of Migration, Olifur Eliasson, Tate 2019
M is for the history of Migration, Olifur Eliasson, Tate 2019


Fatema. SoulFire Dec 2019. Moseley School of Art


Identity and Belonging. Tate Britain. 60 Years of Women’s Art.


Listening to Vanley Burke at ‘Home’ exhibition at Birmingham Hippodrome 2019


Ibrahim Mahama. Parliament of Ghosts. Whitworth Gallery 2019
Ibrahim Mahama. Parliament of Ghosts. Whitworth Gallery 2019


Gursky Hayward


Munch. British Museum. 2019

National Gallery Scotland Bridget Riley. Room 2. Black and White. 2019


Moon and Stars @Mac: Brave-Kate Holt. 2019.


Dundee V&A 2019


Freud, RA 2019.  Drawing.


Roses. Gursky Bahrain Circuit – Hayward. 2018.


A. Gormley Listen To Hear. Welcome Trust. 2019


Gordon Parkes smartphone Frieze london. 2019


Zara views Yuchen. Ort Gallery. 2019.


Rauschenberg. Metal Tate. 2017.


Miro. Centre Botin, Santander 2018


npg donorwall. 2019.


Trish Murtha Photographers Gallery. London. 2018.


Michael Armitage at Edin MoA
Michael Armitage. Scottish Museum of Modern Art. 2017


Victorian Giants. 2018National Portrait Gallery


The National Collection. 2017. Dean Gallery

The Barber Institute. Observations Of Conflict And Aftermath. 2018

Arnold Newman.2018Louisiana

Ashmoleum Viewing  ‘odol’ by stuart davis 1924. 2018.


Size 8: Orange. 1996. Wylie, Rose.  Women Power Protest.  Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 2018.


Madoura. Louisiana.2018.Denmark


NPG – hand holding spectacles. 2018.


Wolverhampton Art Gallery Singh Twins. 2018.


Tall American. All to Human -TATE Britain. 2018.

Manhanna Ashmoleum Oxford. 2018


Lorenzo Lotto Portraits National Gallery 2018

Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art Santander 2018

RA Drawing Gustav Klimt 2018

Rachel Maclean’s ‘Too Cute’ Film @ BMAG 2019

PORTRAITS. Klimt Schiele RA 2018

Warhol. Dean Gallery Edinburgh 2018


WOWI Bacteriology Illustrated:Book Dress:
Susie Freeman Royal College of General Practioners. 2019

China Posters. William morris Gallery 2019

Moseley School of Art. Illyas esq. 2019.

David Owen Esq, Kate Holt Introduction @MAC. 2019.

Impact 10. Santander. 2018. Women Printmakers

Viewing hanging written artwork. West Bromwich Blast Festival 2019

Leonardo. BMAG 2019

Tall Guy. HOME, Manchester. 2019. David Lynch.

Alona, Photo London, Art and Activism. BCU. 2019
Viewing the portrait of Anne (possibly) 1957, on video in the LS Lowry Gallery, Salford.

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