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Relational Drawing
Dia Art Foundation
Beacon, NY

As we approach Gerhard Richter’s large enameled panels of glass, arrayed, slightly off-kilter, they begin to reflect the shifting angles of the room, the light, and our movement. We tend to think of movement occurring within space, but movement also gives shape to space.

How, then, can we work with a sense of geometry in our action and environment?

Part 1: Movement

Imagine, for example, a plane that extends out from your centerline–the line that passes through your belly button, up along the middle of your breastbone and over the bridge of your nose.

Bring your hand to this plane and slide it along the plane’s surface, feeling how the movements of your hand, elbow, shoulder and ribcage orient and establish this plane.

As you walk, locate a sense of this plane as stable….

In turn, try moving with, off of, and around this plane….

Now imagine the plane itself shifting from side to side as you walk and your weight shifts.

Part 2: Relational Movement

Stand facing another person, establishing a sense of a shared midline plane. Allow your movement with this person to clarify your shared plane.

Notice the plane of this person’s hand and face. Bring the palm of your hand to mirror the plane of his or her face. Bring your other hand to meet the plane of someone else’s face. Follow the movement of their faces by keeping your palm’s in line, or in plane, rather, with them….

Part 3: Drawing Movement

Slip a piece of paper on a drawing board between you and the person whose movement you are following. Allow the long edge of a rectangular block of graphite to slide along the surface of this paper.

How do the planes expressed in your movement meet the page and reflect the planes you sense in the movement of the person you are drawing?


Two 45 minute workshops. Square graphite, paper, drawing boards.

Dia: Beacon Event Information and Project Description

Dia: Beacon Gerhard Richter Room