Love and Flowers
Opening: 16.03.2023, 18:00-21:00
We are pleased to announce Love and Flowers, the second solo exhibition of the Italian artist
Isabella Ducrot at Galerie Mezzanin.
On the walls of the gallery, we find two series of works: the large flower pots and the Eros. Ducrot has been depicting erotic scenes since the late 1990s. Her gestural works, large and small, share a tenderness and sensuality that contribute to the narrative of sexual duality as a key to interpreting the world. The concept of Eros has also been used in philosophy and psychology in a broader sense to describe a kind of “life energy” - a conception very close to Ducrot’s engagement with art. Her complex and sensitive work represents her open-mindedness towards foreign cultures and genres.
Repetition is the subject and primary theme, the protagonist, in many of Ducrot’s artworks. Her love of repetition, which she even describes as an obsession, is at the heart of the exhibition. It brings together a set of flowerpots and erotic compositions that are in some ways similar but whose variations punctuate the space and act almost like a meditation, like a pause in time through a visual effect of cadence. Inspired by her travels in the East, the repetitive element becomes an end in itself, a kind of mental concentration and the center of emotion. From this repetition comes the subtle changes that make life so beautiful to observe. And in some ways, Isabella seems to be attracted by precisely that: the details that are normally hidden. Not by official mysteries, but precisely by what is hidden out of modesty, everything that is tacitly considered unimportant. Her works are made out of fabrics and papers that have been separated from what they were intended for. From gold and silver foil used for sweets in India, to handwoven kitchen rags. When they are no longer of any earthly use, they are reborn between her alchemist’s fingers.
Born in Naples, Ducrot returns in the city when she is about sixteen, when her father unexpectedly decides that the family should return to live in their pre-war palace that had been severely bombed: only one wing was still standing. But there were untouched islands of great beauty among the ruins, brimming with fine furniture and bookcases. At tea time, as Ducrot recounts in her essay collection Fallaste Corazón, her mother would receive her friends, including princesses, in this perfect part of the palace.
As we read these few lines about her personal history, images appear in our minds, Isabella Ducrot in this decadent palace surrounded by pots of flowers with heavy petals as in her drawings. Her memories transposed on this Japanese paper that almost looks like a fragile tablecloth, crumpled by the effects of water. Sometimes framed by the artist and enhanced with metallic paper, her flowers can look like illuminations. Those of a story that announces hope, rebirth, blossoming.
Isabella Ducrot’s solo shows include Isabella Ducrot: other things, Sadie Coles HQ 2023, Art Basel Unlimited, Basel 2022, San Giuseppe alle Scalze a Pontecorvo, Napoli 2021, Spazio Parlato, Palermo 2018 and Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples 2015.
In 2014 Ducrot had a major exhibitions at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome and participated at the Venice Biennales in 2011and 1993. Recent Group exhibitions include The Drawing Centre Show (curated by Franck Gautherot, Seungduk Kim, Tobias Pils & Joe Bradley) Le Consortium, Dijon 2022, Museo Carlo Bilotti Aranciera di Villa Borghese, Rome, Villa Lontana, Rome, both 2021 and Standard (Oslo) 2020, among others. Isabella Ducrot is also the author of numerous publications, including Twenty-Two Places of the Soul 2022, Women’s Life 2021, La stoffa a quadri 2019, and La Matassa Primordiale 2008.