Obelisk Art History
Mediums

Graphite
Our pencils contain a super-material

Where do you start with graphite? Do you begin at the beginning, when sedimentary carbon oxidizes during its transformation into metamorphic rock? Or do you look to the future where single-atom layers of graphite called graphene are used to transform everything from water filters to batteries? For us, graphite gets interesting around 4500 BCE, when the Boian culture in neolithic Europe began marking their pottery with geometric patterns in graphite. For the next six and a half millennia, humans have made marks with graphite, smearing it as powder, rubbing it as sticks, or casing it in wood to create perhaps the simplest and most versatile artistic instrument—the pencil.

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Self-Portrait, Simeon Solomon

Self-Portrait Simeon Solomon, 1859

Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass, William Morris

Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass William Morris, 1862

Study of a Seated Woman, Edgar Degas

Study of a Seated Woman Edgar Degas, 1868 – 1869

Bay of Uri, Brunnen, John Singer Sargent

Bay of Uri, Brunnen John Singer Sargent, 1870

Bo-Peep, Winslow Homer

Bo-Peep Winslow Homer, 1878

The Idol of Perversity, Jean Delville

The Idol of Perversity Jean Delville, 1891

Curtain for Le Coq d'Or: Third Act, Natalia Goncharova

Curtain for Le Coq d'Or: Third Act Natalia Goncharova, 1914

Study for a Curtain for 'Le Coq d'Or', Natalia Goncharova

Study for a Curtain for 'Le Coq d'Or' Natalia Goncharova, 1913 – 1914

The Artist's Mother, Umberto Boccioni

The Artist's Mother Umberto Boccioni, 1915

Study for Proun S.K., El Lissitzky

Study for Proun S.K. El Lissitzky, 1922 – 1923

l.n.31, El Lissitzky

l.n.31 El Lissitzky, 1922 – 1924

The Card Game, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

The Card Game Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, 1937

Sleep Mask, Adolph Gottlieb

Sleep Mask Adolph Gottlieb, 1945

Exquisite Corpse, André Breton

Exquisite Corpse André Breton, 1949

Through the headlights we see the land of fire, Aloïse Corbaz

Through the headlights we see the land of fire Aloïse Corbaz, 1941 – 1951

Untitled, Agnes Martin

Untitled Agnes Martin, 1957

Study for Bicho, Lygia Clark

Study for Bicho Lygia Clark, 1960

Untitled (Rome, June 1960), Cy Twombly

Untitled (Rome, June 1960) Cy Twombly, 1960

Judgement of Paris (Cranach), Bob Thompson

Judgement of Paris (Cranach) Bob Thompson, 1963

The Tree, Agnes Martin

The Tree Agnes Martin, 1964

Orange Grove, Agnes Martin

Orange Grove Agnes Martin, 1965

Untitled, 1965, Brice Marden

Untitled, 1965 Brice Marden, 1964 – 1965

The Two Musicians, Baya Mahieddine

The Two Musicians Baya Mahieddine, 1966

Epitalamio, Carlos Mérida

Epitalamio Carlos Mérida, 1968

Yellow Body, Robert Rauschenberg

Yellow Body Robert Rauschenberg, 1968

Untitled, Ali Al Jabri

Untitled Ali Al Jabri, 1970

Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110, Robert Motherwell

Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110 Robert Motherwell, 1971

Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It, Cy Twombly

Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It Cy Twombly, 1978

Untitled #5, Agnes Martin

Untitled #5 Agnes Martin, 1991

Untitled, Baya Mahieddine

Untitled Baya Mahieddine, 1992

Quattro Stagioni: Autunno, Cy Twombly

Quattro Stagioni: Autunno Cy Twombly, 1993 – 1995

Untitled #10, Agnes Martin

Untitled #10 Agnes Martin, 1995

I Love the Whole World, Agnes Martin

I Love the Whole World Agnes Martin, 1999

Gratitude, Agnes Martin

Gratitude Agnes Martin, 2001

More Art Mediums
Watercolor, Mediums

Watercolor

Ink, Mediums

Ink

From the caves to the desktop

Terracotta, Mediums

Terracotta

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