Writing by Drawing

When Language Seeks Its Other


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ISBN: 9788857243504 Category:

Andrea Bellini, Sarah Lombardi


A book about writing and its shadow side. It examines a number of practices, from the early 20th century to the present day, in which writing leaves behind its communicative function and moves toward the sphere of the illegible and unspeakable.

Writing by Drawing sets out to explore the tension inherent in script, the way it hovers between the genuinely semantic realm and the uncharted territory of mere arabesques, automatisms, repeated marks, and scribbles.

All of the works presented inhabit a special terrain vague in which the act of writing is more about “trying to say” than “saying” itself, more about potentialities of meaning than about signification. Such writing has transcended communication, becoming a trace of existence and affirmation of self but also an element of fancy, a metaphor for the mysterious weft of the world. Our investigation centers on this ancient human impulse to move past the communicative side of writing toward the unfettered, absolute reclamation of the mark, with its wealth of imaginative possibilities.

Additional information

Weight 1402 g
Dimensions 21.8 x 30.5 cm
Publisher name Skira Editore S.p.A
Publication date 26 January 2021
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.8 x 30.5 cm
Weight 1402 g


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Andrea Bellini is an Italian and Swiss curator and contemporary art critic based in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2012 he is director of the Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève and artistic director of the Biennial of moving images.

Sarah Lombardi, art historian, has been appointed Director of the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne from March 2013.