Contextual Research: suggested readings – Drawing as narrative

As part of my assignment 3 feedback received we discussed the topic of narratives and visual images. My tutor suggested some further reading. I do not spend that much time here on the research just taken short notes and links. I have to come back to this at a later stage. Besides serial paintings as such it involves other media, moving images, film, and theatre. Not so relevant for me at this stage and in the scope of PoP1, but surely when I come to level 2 it will get more relevant to me.

Drawing as narrative in a less self-conscious way:

Examples of narrative, serial, moving images and combinations of drawing, paining, film, television, drama, stage etc.

William Kentridge (b. 1955):
Kentridge is for me such a prolific artist I already enjoyed looking at during my Drawing 1 course unit. His animated drawings and films alongside his performative installations are a fascinating combination of visual art. At times the reminds me of Jean Dubuffet.  There is a wonderful comprehensive overview of his body of work with many links and videos at:

Dan Beudean (b. 1980) Romanian artist as Adrian Ghenie is approaching narrative with drawings. Rathe small scale (Around A4 and A3) there is a lot of detail, at times in a surrealist manner.
Some of his work are available from:

David Hockney (b. 1937) He went towards drama and stage design. A new venue than film, as the painting on stage is the background image with the actors in front of it. Like the architectural images in cinema the stage image support, enforces and guides the viewer in an embodied experience of the play. Hockney worked on various stage designs. One was inspired by the etchings in aquatint in his Rake’s progress  (Available from:
Rake’s progress‘ is an opera with libretti from Strawinsky and based on 8 paintings by William Hogarth – click here. The story is about the decline of Tom Rakewell a ‘man of leisure’ who lived a life of masculine waywardness and depravity and who ended in Bedlam, a psychiatry hospital in London. The piece consists of irony and to be considered as a social satire.
David Hockney took the challenge (alongside the intellectual and moral problems within the piece) and produced a new opera in the context of the 20th century together with John Cox. Hockney said “And so long as the words and images work with, and not against, the music, the eye and ear come together in the most remarkable way” (Wroe, 2010) Hockney followed carefully the music and added the visual images as a spectacle alongside it. Actually Hockney already made back on 1960 his own version of ‘Rake’s progress’.
I am already fascinated by the story as such as it resonates with two aspects related to myself: I am working part time in a psychiatry hospital in the canton Bern, Switzerland as art therapist and the disrespectful life of waywardness and depravity, with connotations to sex and most likely treating women inferior, resonates with some aspects from my work for project 3 ‘Tell a Story’.

Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957) is a visual artist whose works for me resemble illustrations in a graphic novel. He even add explaining and enhancing text to his works. A collection of his works are available at:

I do not feel connected with this, not to work in that manner for me. However there are certain aspects in it that, reminding of a discussion in the OCA discussion forum on photography, were it was discussed how to combing effectively and visually appealing text with images. The fellow textile student add asemic text to her works – click here.

Serial paintings:

Serial paintings, something I do quite often with my sketchbooks. Considering this course part ‘Looking out‘ I embarked on two sketchbook journeys:

  1. Bernese Oberland, Switzerland: My neighbourhood of my work place in Oct and Nov 2016 => click here
  2. Aare River, Switzerland: My neighbourhood of my residence in Switzerland (Bremgarten, Bern) => click here

But serial paintings is also what I did during my daily self portraits in part 3. Especially my serial ‘Portrait Parts‘.

My challenges so far were often linked to create one final painting that should incorporate various aspects Most of the time a disaster, not really successful. Mundane objects like bottles (Giorgio Morandi), tools (Lisa Milroy), or hay stacks (Claude Monet) can be subject matters for endless exploratory paintings. Vincent van Gogh was taken also same objects in his daily life for exploration and learning.  At the end those serial paintings do tell a story, a narrative not one pictorial plane but rather on multiple. And those multiple images could be pulled together as one work, either as a cluster with some space between them or without spacing with the perception of one image e.g .John Virtue – as discovered in my research on large scale painting – click here.

Peter Dreher painted every day the same water glass for over thirty years:  ‘Das Glas 1974 bis heu­te (Tag) – The glass 1974 till today (day) Oil on canvas, 25×20 cm. What is an unbelievable endeavour that needs for me tremendous amount of discipline. It was not that ease to sustain my daily self portrait painting over 9 weeks.



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