Draw lines, lots of lines! Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s statement applies to the hand’s routine, without which it cannot produce any art, in Ingres’s opinion. Only drawing trains the hand and the eye. Only drawing teaches things that are difficult to communicate via language, and can put visually complex content on paper in a comprehensible, abstract, and simplified way. Worringer uses this medium exhaustively; it’s his visual foundation. So you’ll find in his work this creative medium’s entire spectrum: illustrations, sketches, studies, drawings, technical designs, ideas given shape in lines as a direct means of communication.
Draw a distinction! Worringer meets this challenge, too, from George Spencer Brown, which sheds a different light on Ingres’s statement. Here, the line is not considered a way to train the hand and eye, but as a way to make distinctions, to mark things, to delimit them. Lines create their own reality. The immediacy of drawing turns it into a social medium that can overcome linguistic and cultural divisions. Children learn to tell stories and describe things through drawings. Worringer makes use of this accessibility. Thus, Worringer’s art contains various forms and characteristics: sometimes rapid and fleeting, at other times, naive, awkward, rough, aggressive, and then again pointed, tender, yet threatening; and with ironic sharpness.