We are pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Dutch artist Juul Kraijer during the third edition of Milano Drawing Week.
Juul Kraijer (*1970) creates large drawings depicting female figures merging with natural elements. With light and sensitive but precise lines, she conjures up faces and bodies that transform into branches, leaves, as well as snakes, birds or swarms of insects. Her evanescent and at the same time clear figures describe the overlap between human and natural realms: as in a contemporary metamorphosis they stage the complicity between the individual and plants or animals.
There is no setting nor gestures, the perspectives are imperceptible and the bodies silent. The transformations in Kraijer's work have absolute composure, grace, and harmony. Young women's hair turns into branches or entwined snakes; the palm of a hand shows lines growing into a tiny leafless tree; the female body of the immense drawing that is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York merges into a volcanic landscape of ash clouds and crater lakes. Her drawings recall the Indian culture of contemplation: subtle gestures, elegant miniatures, gods, and demons in animal forms.
This exhibition will also show a series of collages, a technique that the artist started experimenting with during the pandemic. She uses 19th century French illustrated magazines – as Max Ernst did to make his famous collage novels. These new works embody the theme of the relationship between nature and man too: animal bodies merge with human bodies or landscapes, creating new hybrid beings in a world where boundaries are not absolute and the dichotomy between nature and human no longer exists.
Juul Kraijer was born in Assen in the Netherlands in 1970 and lives in Rotterdam. As early as 2001, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam dedicated her a solo exhibition and during her artistic career she has exhibited at the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, the Third Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Garage Center, La Maison Rouge in Paris as part of the exhibition Théatre du Monde – curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, as well as at San Diego Art Institute, the Kunsthalle in Giessen, Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi and Museum Sinclair-Haus in Bad Homburg. Her works are in the collections of the Stedelijk and the Museum Overholland in Amsterdam, MoMA in New York, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, and many other public and private collections.
The third Milano Drawing Week – a widespread exhibition of modern and contemporary drawing – will be held from Saturday 25 November to Sunday 3 December 2023.
The event is promoted by Collezione Ramo which follows, starting from the early 20th century, the traces on paper of the major representatives of Italian artistic movements and great talents. The aim is to document the richness of this artistic practice through works on paper, including drawings as well as watercolors, collages, gouaches, pastels. All galleries participating in the 'Milano Drawing Week' will exhibit a work from the Ramo Collection. Juul Kraijer chose to include in her exhibition an ink on paper drawing by Betty Danon (1927 - 2002), an Italian artist of Turkish origin.