If, in the beginning, there was The Word, drawing is the backbone of art’s creation story. The first figures Western Man created were with the knottily vigorous strokes of a stick dipped in animal fat. Whatever one may think of their artistic value, they have an eerie immediacy even today. It would be no exaggeration to say that drawing is at the very foundation of representational imagery – all imagery, in fact. How its precepts are filtered through cultural meanings as well as how inventive one may be, are part of a history that is as old as man. And until after WWII, drawing was seen and appreciated on a worldwide scale. Since that time, other graphic media, as well as electronic facsimiles, have begun to replace it – though mostly in commercial sectors where immediate impact carries the day.
Article source: http://www.examiner.com/review/drawing-on-the-edge-six-voices-at-the-national-portrait-gallery