ObeliskMediums

Graphite

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.

Reed Enger, "Graphite, Our pencils contain a super-material," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 05, 2016; last modified July 20, 2019, http://arthistoryproject.com/mediums/graphite/.

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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, c. 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
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
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Etching, Mediums

Etching

Ink, Mediums

Ink

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