Born in Naples in 1931, Isabella Ducrot has been living and working in Rome for many years.
In her extensive travels she developed a particular interest in fabrics from countries east of Europe and began studying the many differences in the textile traditions of China, India, Turkey and Central Asia. Over the years she has amassed a collection of rare fabrics of historical interest, and has long used textiles in her own work.
In 1989, she created 12 paintings made up of panels that incorporated fragments of an Andean fabric dating back one thousand years. She subsequently spent two years creating a rich series of tapestries around a recurring motif in Ottoman culture, the cintamani pattern.
She presented a large tapestry at the 1993 Venice Biennale that is today part of the collection of the Contemporary Art Museum of Gibellina, Sicily. In the 1990s she also began using paper, to create a series of large drawings and monotypes in black and white.
In 2002 she created a series of paper tapestries entitled “Memorie di una terra”, from memories of a trip to Afghanistan, which were exhibited at the Milan State Archives. A large collage (4x4m) of fabric, paper and paint was exhibited and acquired by the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Rome, while a large pastel on silk is part of the collection of Rome’s National Gallery of Modern Art (GNAM).
In 2005 she created two mosaics for the Piazza Vanvitelli metro station in Naples.
In 2008, she had an individual exhibit at Rome’s National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art entitled “Variazioni” and published “Text on Textile” (first in English, then later in a slightly different form in Italian as “La matassa primordiale”).
In 2011, she was invited to exhibit her work at Venice Biennale, Italian Pavilion.
In 2014, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rome) featured another individual exhibition of hers: “Bende sacre”. In the same year she held a solo show at Galleryske Gallery (New Delhi) and she took part in Art Basel fair.
In 2015, she is invited by Achille Bonito Oliva to exhibit her installation “Effimero” at Archaeological Museum in Naples.
In 2019, she took part in Art Basel, Frieze and FIAC art fairs with the Galerie Gisela Capitain; she also had two personal exhibitions: one in Cologne (Galerie Gisela Capitain) and a second one in Berlin (Capitain Petzel).
Isabella Ducrot has shown her work in Rome, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Paris, Cologne, Berlin, Geneva, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, New York and New Delhi.
She has created backdrops for the theatre, concerts and the ballet (Rome Philharmonic, Lecce ‘Balletto del Sud’, Rome ‘Olimpico’ Theatre and ‘Palladium’ Theatre).
Critical essays on her work have been published by Ritanna Armeni, Ginevra Bompiani, Giovanna Bonasegale, Achille Bonito Oliva, Patrizia Cavalli, Marcella Cossu, Federica Di Castro, Laura Cherubini, Erri De Luca, John Eskenazi, Ruggero Guarini, Diane Kelder, Raffaele La Capria, Bruno Mantura, Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, Sandra Pinto, Massimiliano Alessandro Polichetti, Silvia Ronchey, Lucetta Scaraffia, Nadia Tazi, Luciano Trina, Tommaso Trini and Stefano Velotti, among others.
She published: I ventidue luoghi dello spirito (2022, ed. Quodlibet), Women’s Life (2021, ed. Quodlibet), La stoffa a quadri (2018, ed. Quodlibet), Fallaste Corazón (2012, ed. Il notes magico), Suonno (2012, ed. La Conchiglia), Text on Textile (2008, ed. Nottetempo).