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CRITIC'S CHOICE

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REVIEW

Reviewing the latest volume of Richard Rogers' collected works in last week's AJ, Nicholas Ray wrote that, unlike Rogers, 'all the great architects I can think of do draw, memorably if sometimes idiosyncratically. It is not that they are artists, but the process of drawing reveals the complicated relationships that they analyse'. In his text for Lines of Enquiry: Thinking through Drawing - the latest show at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge - Patrick Lynch says: 'Drawings are simultaneously a form of recording and invention. . . You might be thinking about other buildings and architects that you admire while talking to an engineer or client, recalling archetypes and atmospheres. Sometimes you find yourself drawing upside down, literally from another person's point of view.'

Lynch is one of several architects included in the show, along with Colin St John Wilson and Eric Parry. But their contributions hang beside those of archaeologists, surgeons, physicists, zoologists, astronomers, acousticians - a broad spectrum of pursuits across the arts and sciences. And while the drawings loosely fit one or other (occasionally both) of Lynch's categories - recording and invention - they're neither grouped by that, nor by the disciplines they represent, nor by the degree of finish (which varies greatly). Although affinities between items do sometimes emerge, it's frankly a miscellany, but one in which a drawing is invariably a working tool - as in the page above by engineer Allan McRobbie. The exhibition continues until 17 September and, if you can't get to Cambridge, there's a nice little catalogue for only £4.95 ( www. kettlesyard. co. uk).

The old dispute about disegno versus colore, drawing versus colour, which has simmered since the Renaissance - Vasari called disegno 'the animating principle of all creative processes' - comes to mind when turning from Kettle's Yard to a show at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery. It's a collaboration between Olafur Eliasson (whose simplistic 'giant sun' was a big hit at Tate Modern in 2004) and scientist Boris Oichermann: 'a laboratory to explore the way that colour is perceived'.

It all sounds quite Albers-like and rather more interesting than Eliasson's work at the Tate ( www. ikon-gallery. co. uk).

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