Monica De Cardenas

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Via Francesco Viganò 4, 20124 Milan

TUE-SAT 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Juul Kraijer
Betty Danon (Collezione Ramo)

Juul Kraijer answers questions from
Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, curator of Collezione Ramo

Give a definition of what drawing is for you.

Drawing in charcoal for me is like swimming for a seal or flying for a swallow. It is completely natural and allows me complete freedom. I like to see how, during the process of applying charcoal, through various erasures and new additions, the image takes shape under my hands. The charcoal on the paper verges on immateriality. It remains as a very thin layer and barely sets: just like the pattern that decorates a butterfly's wing.

What is your relationship with drawing?

Starting from my adolescence, drawing was my first love, especially those in black and white and monochrome. From sketches of Egyptian Pharaohs to 18th-century illustrations by Indian miniaturists to the extraordinary drawings of Goya and Seurat. The first 15 years of my art practice were almost entirely devoted to drawing: in charcoal and occasionally in pastel or conté, and sometimes on a monumental scale.

What about with the history of Italian art in the last century?

I love the silent essence of Morandi's works and the incomplete sculptures, born from raw material, of Medardo Rosso.

Why did you choose this work from Collezione Ramo?

I chose a wonderfully quiet and minimal drawing by Betty Danon. Although the style is very different from my own works, I think there are strong similarities in the way the work seeks to influence the viewer, taking the mind away from everyday banality.

Like most of my works, Danon's drawing is in black and white, a step back from our color reality. His work consists of a layering of two types of lines, the first evenly spaced and the other rhythmic, similar to musical writing. Both are drawn with the utmost concentration, like a meditation exercise. The shimmering multitude of gray lines in Partitura Asemantica finds parallels with the hundreds of small charcoal leaves that oscillate in my drawing.

Another reason I chose this drawing is that it is not a sketch, but a finished work. And that it was made by a woman artist, one of the few in the collection.