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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student


Value of line discussed in lecture

Art professor Lara Nguyen discusses SoFA gallery exhibition

Noon Talk : For the Love of the Line

Lara Nguyen, a fundamental drawing professor in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, lectured Wednesday on the descriptive and emotive qualities of line in a new collection of drawings.

The exhibition consisted of drawings from the August L. and L. Tommie Freundlich Collection, titled “The Great American Sketchbook.”

The exhibition was organized by Nanette Esseck Brewer, who is the Lucienne M. Glaubinger curator of Work on Paper. The exhibition will continue to be displayed in the SoFA gallery until May 30 and includes 26 works by American masters such as John Sloan, Reginald Marsh, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise and Walt Kuhn.

“Where did it start?” Nguyen said of observing art. “Where did it end? Where did it linger? Where was there frustration? Where were their many questions that were being asked, but not necessarily answered? Where was there fluidity?”

Nguyen talked about the various aspects of social realism, regionalism and
modernism as depicted in the works of this collection. She emphasized the lightness of the strokes of the artists and asked her audience to notice how simply the works were made.

She described the process of drawing and said when she looks at such brilliant works, she considers the frame of mind of the artist, the choice of subject and the little details added to the drawing that add latent meaning to the work.

Nguyen got her MFA degree from Southern Illinois University in 2002, after which she was an assistant professor at California State University in Long Beach. She discussed the structural lines, horizontal, vertical and diagonal, made with soft charcoal on translucent paper in a few works such as “Self-Portrait with Grandson (Will and Willie)” by Will Barnet and a work titled “Will Mr. Smith sign here, and here, and here?” by John Sloan, an ink over graphite.

“The softer charcoal lines make it more intimate when compared with the harder formal elements in the second drawing,” Nguyen said.

“Small, intimate drawings have this care and love,” Nguyen said while discussing George Luks’ drawing titled “Young Girl Seated.” She also said it is hard for an artist to get a young child to sit in a pose for too long.

Summarizing her perception of drawing, Nguyen said, “When I see a drawing, I see it as a life.”

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