We are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Switzerland by Dutch artist Juul Kraijer.
For fifteen years Juul Kraijer has been drawing a recognizable reality parallel to the reality that we know. She works mainly with charcoal and sometimes with dry pastel. With few lines she portrays physical-emotional and mental sensations. Sobriety intensifies the power of the image and its compactness leads the onlooker to the core. On the sheets of paper from 20 to 300 centimeter width an androgynous looking young woman appears, absent and unmoved or in full concentration
In embodied frames of mind the protagonist is staged in a neutral way. She can transform into a landscape, into a body with forests or volcanoes appearing on its curves, as in the immense drawing that is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She can also disintegrate when mosquitos and bees take possession of her, bite her, suck her blood and distribute all these droplets like pollen in nature. Nevertheless her body remains a paragon of calm and graceful modesty, untouchable like that of an imperial geisha.
The drawings remind one of the Indian culture of contemplation; subtle gestures, refined and elegant miniature painting and gods and demons in animal shape. Already as a young girl Juul Kraijer became acquainted with western and non-western art. In recent years she has frequently travelled to India. Her travels have allowed her to gain new experiences of the senses, to register body postures, to become acquainted with another attitude towards life. Later in her studio in Rotterdam all facets come together on the paper. The result are sensitive, figurative drawings of someone who isolates her emotions and observations, cautiously polishes them and then so subtly recreates them that many can see their own experiences reflected in them.
Juul Kraijer was born in Assen in The Netherlands in 1970 and lives in Rotterdam. Her work has been awarded three Dutch art prizes and has been exhibited many times. It is included in museum and private collections in the Netherlands and abroad.
In 2001 the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented her work, in 2005 and 2008 she exhibited at Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, in 2009 at The Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art at the Garage Center in Moscow and in 2013 at La Maison Rouge in Paris as part of the exhibition Théatre du Monde, curated by Jean-Hubert Matin. Her works are in the collections of the Stedeijk and the Overholland Museum in Amsterdam, the MoMa in New York, Museum Boijmans van Beunigen in Rotterdam, the Kiasma in Helsinki, as well as in many private and corporate collections.
In the exhibition Italian Summer we present five young Italian artists who share the attitude to explore a wide range of techniques and materials. Each has an individual approach, but they all mix traditional techniques with aspects of the contemporary world.
Marco Basta (*Milan 1985) works between an inner, intimate, definite space, and the external world. In the work Piogge (Rains) he attempts to record and give form to this elusive atmospheric phenomenon. The raindrops are captured by a scanner and then printed on hand made paper and reworked with pigments. With Giardino (Garden) the artist continues the series of botanical drawings on felt: a detailed and imaginary nature, frozen in a state of timeless perfection.
Attracted by the contradictory aspects of reality, Marco Belfiore (*Rovereto 1971) reveals, with subtle irony, faults of interpretation and perception connected with appearances, and with what we generally take for granted. With the series of watercolors Scherzi della natura (Freaks of Nature) he seduces the gaze with colorful exotic birds that evoke the realism typical of certain scientific illustrations, but in fact we are looking at something that does not exist in nature: these are hybrids, combinations of parts of different birds, whose forms and colors are familiar because they belong to the imaginary of the exotic.
Lupo Borgonovo (*Milan 1985) seeks the pleasure of the experience of materials and forms. He works by way of associations, juxtaposing solids and liquids, real and imaginary objects, raw and refined materials. His sculptures seem to re-become organic, living and even edible. The Coconuts are bronze castings of a coconut to which he has added glass spheres as eyes, thus transforming them into faces or masks of an unknown tribe. His prints are imprints, unrecognizable traces of bodies, open to new interpretations.
The works of Valerio Carrubba (*Siracusa 1975) celebrate painting whilst taking it apart: the subjects are composed by anonymous images from classical repertoires from the 19th Century, selected and reworked by the artist and then painted on steel. The industrial character of the surface reflects the anti-romantic process behind the work: the image is actually painted twice, through a second coat that covers and reproduces the layer below in an accurate way. This analytical exercise is reflected in the titles of the works, which are palindromes.
Andrea Romano (*Milan 1984) presents a group of delicate pencil drawings set inside heavy marble frames: a contradiction that emphasizes both the fragile delicacy of the lines and the invulnerable nobility of the stone. The title of this ongoing project is Claque and Shill, alluding to the ambiguous and unreliable character of the representation of a phenomenon. The Claque and the Shill are in fact figures that infiltrate the audience at an entertainment, influencing its preferences.