Monday, August 1, 2016

To Draw Everything

My co-editor on the Adolph Menzel book, Christian Schlierkamp, joined me for a book signing yesterday. For the first 35 lucky customers, we included our favorite inspirational quotes relating to Menzel.

Christian's quote was "alles Zeichnen ist nützlich, und Alles zeichnen auch” (“All drawing is useful, and to draw everything also.”) Menzel wrote that famous line when asked by art students about the value of drawing from plaster casts. His answer might be translated colloquially: "Any drawing you do helps, but it's also great to go out there and draw whatever else you can, too."

Menzel's friend Meyerheim rendered the famous quote slightly differently: „Alles Zeichnen ist gut. Alles zeichnen noch besser." This changes the sense of it a bit, suggesting that one thing is better than another. But no matter how you slice it, Menzel was the artist who more than anyone else, drew EVERYTHING.
Mann auf dem Abort [Man on a toilet]. 1872. Pencil. 13.9 x 8.2 cm. [5.5 x 3.2 in.] 
KK. Copyright © bpk/ Kupferstichkabinett/SMB 
As if to exemplify that point, he drew a man on a toilet. Our book reproduces this drawing for the first time. In drawing such a moment, Menzel isn't trying to be outrageous in a Modernist sense, it's just him documenting every aspect of life in all its grunge and glory.

The first batch shipped out today, and more will go out tomorrow. Amazon doesn't release the book until August 17.

The book contains 130 images, including 32 pages of color.

Here's the link if you'd like to order a signed copy from my website store (I can ship to addresses in the USA only, because of the high shipping rates overseas, sorry).

Check out Christian's blog about Menzel and drawing: "Alles Zeichnen," which is in English.

Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings from


Unknown said...

Looks like a really great book.

Jim Douglas said...

What's more surprising... that Menzel sketched a man on a toilet? Or that the men let Menzel sketch him while on the toilet?! ha ha

Krystal said...

It seems a nice book once again !
too bad that you can't ship signed copies abroad... :-(

Mordy said...

Hi James,
If you're shipping those with USPS, you can schedule a free pickup online, they will pickup from your home or work. You only need one "Priority" package to be eligible.

Unknown said...

I have ordered my copy from Amazon and am eager to receive it. I am disappointed that the signed copies were only available to U.S. customers because of the shipping cost. As a fellow artist of limited means I must point out that as a Canadian customer I have purchased several videos and several books (and recommended them to students) plus shipping with Canadian dollars (currently 76 cents U.S.) From Krystal's comment I see I am not alone. I wonder how many international followers feel the same way? I also wonder if protecting the profit margin in this manner is not short sighted?

James Gurney said...

Gregory, Yeah, I wish we got a break on the shipping rates overseas and to Canada, but because we pay retail postage rates, it costs over $25 to send it to Europe. Canada isn't much less, and there's no tracking available, despite frequent losses (usually in Customs). Big shippers get more breaks, both for speed and price.