Human creativity is linked to lines, whether those first markings on a prehistoric pot or a cave wall, the perspective of the columns of the Greek Parthenon, the hieroglyphics of Egypt, the musical scores of Beethoven, the plays of Shakespeare, the distorted shapes in a sketch by Picasso or the optical forms in a painting by Bridget Riley. In architecture, lines are everywhere from flowing staircases to ventilation grilles, and in the drawings used to create the buildings. Lines can be created by light, by shadows, by nails, by sculpture….the list is endless. Without lines, there would be no art, no architecture, no music, no literature….the list is endless.
Christie’s exhibition “About the Line” explores the power of the line in the work of a number of 20th and 21st century artists, set against the architectural lines of Christie’s Mayfair in Bond Street. Lines can be created by light, by shadows, by nails, by sculptural forms. Lines can create rectangular boundaries, lines can curve, lines can be free-flowing and natural. Lines can create cartoons, writing, prints, portraits. The lines of some architects such as Le Corbusier and Zaha Hadid cross boundaries from architecture to art. (Zaha is sadly missing from this exhibition). When you think of the subject, the list of potential artists is endless, so it must have been quite a feat for the curator to narrow down the list of works to be both focussed but broad, as shown in the three floors of these galleries.