Born 1931 in Naples, Italy
Lives and works in Rome, Italy
Isabella Ducrot is known for her devoted use of woven cloth as the founding material of her artistic practice. Only beginning her artistic career later in life, the Italian artist has assembled a sublime collection of antique textiles through her extensive travels through Asia, originating primarily from Turkey, India, China, Tibet and Afghanistan.
Ducrot’s first source of inspiration comes from the so-called weft of these fabrics. By bringing them to light and stretching them ever-so lightly, whether linen, silk, wool or other, the weft becomes visible, revealing the original architecture of the material, composed of crossing threads and voids. Ducrot has specifically made the checkered cloth her signature material, believing strongly in its expressive force, seeing it as an independent formal element and end unto itself. The extreme nudity of the checkered pattern offers the artist endless possibilities for artistic intervention.
Repetition in various shapes and form can be seen throughout Ducrot’s work. The artist believes this kind of repetition has suffered in maintaining its aesthetic justification in the West, having been subordinated merely to decoration, particularly prior to any turns towards abstraction. She has as a result become interested in reducing the prejudice against decoration in the applied arts, by giving both voice and scale to patterns of all kinds.
Isabella Ducrot’s recent solo shows include San Giuseppe alle Scalze a Pontecorvo, Napoli (2021); Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2021); Galerie Mezzanin, Geneva (2020); Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2019); and Spazio Parlato, Palermo (2018). In 2014 Ducrot had a major exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome and in 1993 and 2011 she showed her work at the Venice Biennale. Isabella Ducrot is also the author of numerous publications, including Women’s Life, 2021; La stoffa a quadri (also translated and published in English as The Checkered Cloth), 2019; Suonno. Il sonno e il sogno nella canzone napoletana, 2012; Fallaste Corazón, 2012; Pensiero religioso ed elettricità, 2011; La Matassa Primordale, 2008; and Bianca di Pelle, 1995.