A New Way to Look at Drawings

Collezione Ramo kicks off the very first edition of Milano Drawing Week.

Marcello Maloberti's works installed his works in the warehouse of Raffaella Cortese's gallery in Milan. Photo Galleria Raffaella Cortese.

“When we look at a painting, we often look for the subject. When we look at a drawing we identify with the artist.” This is how Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, curator of the Ramo collection, describes the magic of works on paper during the launch of the very first edition of Milano Drawing Week. For nine days, the city is hosting a rich calendar of exhibitions orchestrated by the Collezione Ramo in close collaboration with fourteen contemporary art galleries and the Castello Sforzesco.

The Ramo collection gathers some of the most important works on paper by Italian artists, from Umberto Boccioni to Stefano Arienti. Drawings not only as a preparatory means for the creation of paintings and sculptures but above all as a primary expression of the Italian artistic research of the last century.

Acquired over the years, the works in the collection provide an accurate understanding of the history of this medium, throughout the 20th century. The aim is to present the great importance of Italian art and, at the same time, to promote a culture of drawing, which has an independent value on a par with painting and sculpture.

From 20 to 28 November, works from the collection will be on display in fifteen venues around Milan. It will be possible to rediscover these masterpieces on paper in a new light because all the works have been put into dialogue with exhibition projects featuring contemporary artists of the younger generations. Unprecedented encounters, in some cases linking decades far apart.

The occasion renews the Ramo Collection’s strong bond with the city, which becomes fertile ground for new considerations on the artistic practice of drawing and a crossroads for different exhibition programs, collections, and institutions. The artists, selected by the initiative’s curator, Ms. Zucca Alessandrelli, then chose the artists with whom to interact, picking freely among the masterpieces in the collection and with very different motivations and interests.

We have had the opportunity to preview the exhibitions and we recommend taking the proper time to discover them all.

Magdalena Suarez Frimkess’ work on display at the Kaufmann Repetto gallery.

Day 1

The most central location, and the only one that is not an art gallery, is the Castello Sforzesco. The castle’s Gabinetto di Disegno (the collection of drawings and works on paper) is hosting an exhibition on Tiepolo, and for Milan Drawing Week, an iconic landscape by Tiepolo is in dialogue with a rare work on paper, also a panorama, by artist Domenico Gnoli. In the westernmost part of the city, Galera San Soda hosts the work of Miss Goffetown and Carol Rama, and the independent exhibition space MEGA presents another encounter between two women artists: Dadamaino and Costanza Candeloro. North of the Castle, the Kaufmann Repetto Gallery showcases the work of Magdalena Suarez opposite a work by Carla Accardi. Galleria Monica de Cardenas hosts the work of Marco Belfiore and a drawing by Alighiero Boetti, and Galleria Fumagalli brought together a drawing by Dennis Oppenheim with a work by Mario Merz.

Artist Marco Pio Mucci picked a work by Filippo de Pisis for his solo show in Milan “La natura morta degli scheletri vivi” at Castiglioni. Image courtesy of Castiglioni.

Day 2

Start at Loom Gallery, which in addition to hosting a recently inaugurated exhibition of sculptures by Enrico Castellani, hosts the work of Marco Andrea Magni, in close dialogue with a precious work by Luciano Fabro, an almost invisible mark on paper titled “Il peso di un capello (The weight of a hair)”. Not far from Loom Gallery, Cabinet/Studiolo hosts a masterpiece by Domenico Gnoli, the second one that can be seen during the event, alongside the works of artist Riccardo Beretta. A little further east, still in the same area, the Guenzani Studio hosts a comprehensive exhibition of works by Stefano Arienti, which establish a fascinating connection with a work on paper also by Luciano Fabro, “The egg”, created using frottage from the surface of one of his sculptures. At the Schiavo Zoppelli gallery, Andrea Sala’s picked the work of Ugo La Pietra, and at Castiglioni, the contemporary compositions of scooter skeletons, pistachios, and cement by the young Neapolitan artist Marco Pio Mucci surround a work, a still life, by Filippo de Pisis. The artist Marcello Maloberti always succeeds to create some spectacle. He chose the Raffaella Cortese gallery’s warehouse to arrange a conversation between his works and a work by Giorgio Morandi, installed among cases and boxes of works by other artists such as Karla Black, Monica Bonvincini, and Joan Jonas.

Francesco Simeti decided to include a work on paper by Enrico Baj in his recently inaugurated exhibition “Terrestre” at Galleria Francesca Minini in the Ventura area. Photo by Andrea Rossetti.

Day 3

The three easternmost venues in the city are the furthest from the center. This can be your excuse to adventure into the Lambrate area, where Francesca Minini’s gallery has just opened a powerful exhibition by artist Francesco Simeti, with a new series of collages made from images cut from The New York Times newspaper of apparently reassuring skies and portions of nature. Simeti in this case chose a work by Enrico Baj from 1957 made with bitumen, which at first glance can look like a wave, and after careful observation reveals a female nude. At OPR gallery in the Mecenate area, Ettore Tripodi’s work is flanked by a work by Giorgio De Chirico, as well as at M77, not far away, where another work by De Chirico is presented next to the work of the artist Braco Dimietrevic.

Gianmaria Biancuzzi is Executive Editor of Milano Art Guide. He writes a column on photography for Exibart and previously he reported for Zero.eu from 2016 to 2020. He is the creator and co-curator of the best-selling “The Colouring Book” published by 24OreCultura in 2020.