Juul Kraijer

March 1 to June 1, 2020

In her work, Juul Kraijer explores human nature. To her, the human body is the signifier for all aspects of being human – it serves as a projection surface for the entire spectrum of human reality. With the exhibition Juul Kraijer. Duality, the Museum Sinclair-Haus presents a comprehensive insight into the oeuvre of the Dutch artist. The solo exhibition is a contribution of the Museum Sinclair-Haus to the 2020 annual programme of the Nantesbuch Foundation, which is dedicated to the theme “Determination/Destiny”.

Untitled photograph, 2016-2019
Untitled, 2016-2017
Untitled photograph, 2016-2017
Untitled, 2013
Untitled photograph, 2016-2019
Untitled, 2017
Untitled, 1997

Looking is as much a part of drawing as the act of drawing itself.

Juul Kraijer


Juul Kraijer was born in Assen, Netherlands, in 1970 and studied painting and illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam from 1989 to 1994. From the beginning, she concentrated on drawing. In her drawings of female bodies, some of them monumental in size, these figures are taken out of their cultural, chronological and geographic context. Absent and as if in trance, these bodies seem hardly conscious of themselves, nor of the transformation they are usually subject to: thus, bodies dissolve into swarms of fish or merge with crooked branches, at other times bodies may be mirrored, doubled, simultaneously observing their own transformation. The body’s boundaries are continuously explored and even transcended. Thus, Juul Kraijer’s drawings by no means depict real situations. Rather, the body serves as a visible medium for the visualization of invisible human reality, a feeling, for example, or a mental state. The human duality of inside and outside, of body and spirit, of unity and separation is here dissolved.


In searching for motifs, the artist returns frequently to the canon of Western art history. Thus, some of her works are reminiscent of Daphne transforming herself into a tree, or the serpent hair of Medusa. At the same time, she also borrows from Eastern art, mainly from the imagery of India, where she has spent several periods of study. Juul Kraijer integrates all these visual impulses within the genesis of her own images, transforming them into an idiom which ultimately defies any one interpretation. During recent years, Juul Kraijer has increasingly transferred the motifs of her drawings to the media of photography and video. Here too, she works at the boundaries of what is physically possible and physically bearable.


The exhibition at the Museum Sinclair-Haus presents drawings, sculptures, photographs and films by Juul Kraijer.



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