Milano Drawing Week / 2021

La Ramo Collection presented, from November 20 to 28, 2021, the first edition of Milan Drawing Week, a fifteen-stage journey through the city dedicated to drawing and the link it draws between contemporary artists and 20th-century masters.

For nine days Milano Drawing Week involved the city in a focused lunge on drawing, which took shape in a constellation of exhibitions spread throughout the city. For the occasion, Collezione Ramo made available to a circuit of Milanese galleries and institutions a number of works on paper by 20th-century Italian artists. The invitation, addressed to one artist per space, was to identify a work from the collection and place it in dialogue with their own research.

The itinerary of this first Drawing Week has taken in Castello Sforzesco, Cabinet Studiolo, Castiglioni, Galera San Soda, Francesca Minini, Galleria Fumagalli, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, kaufmann repetto, Loom Gallery, M77 Gallery, Mega, OPR Gallery, Schiavo-Zoppelli Gallery and Studio Guenzani.

The event has seen works by contemporary artists such as Riccardo Beretta, Marco Pio Mucci, Miss Goffetown, Dennis Oppenheim, Francesco Simeti, Marco Belfiore, Marcello Maloberti, Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Marco Andrea Magni, Braco Dimitrijevic, Costanza Candeloro, Ettore Tripodi, Andrea Sala and Stefano Arienti juxtaposed with pieces created by great masters of the 20th century including Domenico Gnoli, Filippo de Pisis, Carol Rama, Mario Merz, Enrico Baj, Alighiero Boetti, Giorgio Morandi, Carla Accardi, Luciano Fabro, Giorgio de Chirico, Dadamaino and Ugo La Pietra through a series of shows that aimed to shed new light on the expressive medium of drawing.

Comparing and contrasting modern and contemporary imagery expands our understanding of this unique practice – one that enables artists to imagine while they create, capturing their thoughts on paper with immediacy and spontaneity. Another relationship – this time with much older drawing – was explored in the exhibition Tiepolo, Canaletto e i maestri del Settecento veneziano (Tiepolo, Canaletto and the Masters of Eighteenth-century Venice) at the Gabinetto dei Disegni, Castello Sforzesco, which featured a delicate ink landscape by Domenico Gnoli on loan from Collezione Ramo that is highly evocative of Tiepolo’s Capricci.

With Milano Drawing Week Collezione Ramo renew its bond with the city, making it fertile ground for new reflections on drawing and bringing together a range of different exhibition programmes, collections and institutions. Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, Curator of Collezione Ramo, says: “Milano Drawing Week represents the first step toward promoting a greater interest in this silent and revolutionary practice, revealing the world to us through the imagery of contemporary artists conscious of their relationship with the past.”

Spanning the entire 20th century, Collezione Ramo gathers together works on paper by key representatives of modern Italian art movements, as well as those by other great talents who pursued their own unique artistic visions. Its aim is to document the evolution of the 20th century’s many different stylistic approaches through works on paper (that is, not only drawings but also watercolours, collages and images created with gouache and pastel). It focuses not only on the acknowledged masterpieces that are emblematic of particular artists, but also on those sketches, jottings and experiments that reveal the evolution of their distinct formal vocabularies.

The goal of the collection is to highlight the importance of 20th-century Italian art and, at the same time, to promote the significance of drawing specifically, considering it to possess an autonomous value equal to that of painting and sculpture.

Key works from Collezione Ramo were recently displayed in the major American exhibition Silent Revolutions: Italian Drawings from the Twentieth Century at the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston (2021). 

In November 2018 highlights were presented at Milan’s Museo del Novecento with the exhibition Chi ha paura del disegno? (Who’s Afraid of Drawing?); the show subsequently travelled to London’s Estorick Collection in April 2019. A smaller exhibition titled La città moderna a casa Libeskind (The Modern City at Casa Libeskind) was presented at Daniel Libeskind’s CityLife home in April 2018, while Ritorno al collage (Return to Collage) opened in the penthouse of Bosco Verticale in May 2019.