ID:EX 7082, Isabella Ducrot,Opere a ripa, 6 February - 18 March 2020

Opere a ripa

Location T293 Rome
DateFebruary 6 - March 18, 2020
Isabella Ducrot, for her first solo show at T293, presents different groups of works, some of which have never been seen publicly. Large square fabrics, repetitions of abstract painted motifs and drawings form a universe of compositions in which multiple materials intertwine, including paper, paint and various types of fabrics. The title Opere a ripa pays homage to one of the most ancient areas in Rome, the Forum Boarium, which lays on the other side of the river from the gallery. The title wants to stress the importance of T293 location within the creative process of this exhibition.
The artistic career of Isabella Ducrot begins, one might say, with her passionate collecting of various sort of fabrics. In fact, from her numerous travels in Asia, a place that continues to exert a particular charm on her, the artist has unconsciously created what became the primary medium of her artistic production: textiles.
During the Eighties, Ducrot decided to reuse the collected fabrics, removing their historical contents and freeing them from their places of origin, with the aim at giving them a new meaning by imposing a new artistic life. The regenerated fabrics take the shape of elegant and colorful women dresses, with wavy and squared patterns, from Tibet and Japan, where the artist’s feminine poetics is remarkably expressed.
Having collected textiles throughout her life, Ducrot has acquired a strong familiarity with the material, allowing her to treat it as pure matter and use it as ethereal basis for poetic interventions. The original weave of the fabrics is kept during the process of re-working of the material. In fact, unlike what commonly happens in pictorial practices, Ducrot doesn’t harden the textiles with plaster and stretchers,but she presents them freely, emphasizing both their lightness and vulnerability.
The art of filling spaces through the repetition of abstract motifs inevitably recalls the Eastern tradition. Ducrot proposes frequently this decorative scheme, as both visual and conceptual approach, as a way to reach a meditative state. Finally, the repeated element becomes the object of representation itself, and the artist underlines it by choosing titles that directly evoke the illustrated repetitions.
Turbante (2014) is a 18-meter-long strip of light cotton that the artist purchased in New Dehli (India). The fabric – usually aimed to ornate a man’s head - is coated with a squared paper of the same length and it is stretched along the corridor of the gallery, where it stands in all its integrity and monumentality.
The exhibition itinerary ends with Erotici, a series of works made during the late Nineties and here exhibited for the first time. They are realized on Chinese paper and they find their iconographic reference in Oriental erotic drawings.
Isabella Ducrot – Opere a ripa
000484274_20210614122730_000402104_20200208180715_ID-P 7029 (1)
Isabella Ducrot


textile on paper and pigment
1.2 × 18 m (47 ¼ × 708 ⅝ inches)
ID:P 6881, Isabella Ducrot,Abito Quadri, 2019
Isabella Ducrot

Abito Quadri

textile, pigment and metal on stretched paper
242 × 238 cm (95 ¼ × 93 ¾ inches)
ID:P 6883, Isabella Ducrot,Cretonne Blue, 2016
Isabella Ducrot

Cretonne Blue

cotton textile and pigments on stretched paper
208 × 149 cm (81 ⅞ × 58 ⅝ inches)
ID:P 6882, Isabella Ducrot,Cretonne Rosa, 2016
Isabella Ducrot

Cretonne Rosa

cotton textile, pigments and paper on stretched paper
197 × 137 cm (77 ½ × 53 ⅞ inches)
ID:P 7053, Isabella Ducrot,Fighting Teapots, 2020
Isabella Ducrot

Fighting Teapots

pigments and pastel on paper
63 × 93 cm (24 ¾ × 36 ⅝ inches)
ID:P 7054, Isabella Ducrot,fighting Teapots, 2020

Fighting Teapots

pigments and pastel on paper
63 × 93 cm (24 ¾ × 36 ⅝ inches)
A review by Sara de Chiara

An exceptional collector of textiles, Seth Siegelaub described their special role in the history of humanity because of their unique dual character: fragile to the natural elements and human use, at the same time resistant and durable, textiles became vehicles of communication through the narratives and cultural values embedded in their motifs.

A collector of textiles in turn, gathered on several travels to Asia, Isabella Ducrot is primarily intrigued by the structure of the fabric itself, where its essential duality originates: the interweaving of opposing elements – weft and warp – which gives an unpredictable strength to the individual threads, making the fabric resilient, durable, bearer of a message. The recent textile works brought together in Opere a ripa, a name that evokes the ancient Roman river port and its symbolic meaning as a place of exchange, take the form of female dresses, emptied of the body, flattened like tailor models on which the artist painted different patterns.

The large installation Turbante (2014) unfolds along the walls of the exhibition space: the light fabric of a turban is unrolled and surrounded by a paper frame that enhances the weightless quality of the cotton, turning it into a long white paper scroll waiting to be written. As a counterpart to these works in which an absent body is evoked, the body is the protagonist of the series of erotic drawings on paper from the 90s. Traced with a loose gesture, they stage another duality, here entrusted to a physical embrace, to intertwined bodies.

Past Exhibitions