Discovering Contemporary Drawing – DESSINPARIS20 – Atelier Richelieu Paris. Text by Ivo Barraza Castaneda.

DESSINPARIS20 was hosted from September 16th-20th  2020 and was consecrated to contemporary drawing, the exhibition is a mix between emotional instincts and the profound search of the new.

Crayon sur papier et céramique émaillée. Galerie LJ Paris. AMANDINE URRUTY The Neverending Story (Part 2), 2019 Fusain et graphite sur papier 70 x 100 cm


We tend to think of drawing as the very matrix of plastic arts. As the very first gesture of any image to be created. You can find the practice across all disciplines of visual arts. In fashion we sketch, in cinema you create story boards and there is a drawing before there is a building. And it sure goes even further, if you think that writing itself started off as the drawing of what we later categorized as pictograms. So keeping the idea of drawing as something that can be reinvented is one hell of a task.

I am not going to focus on technical discovery or style in this article, but on expression. Because from my point of view, seems to be the objective of drawing as a practice. That said, I can only reassure the fact that the different kinds of techniques and aesthetics presented at the exposition are way more varied than the examples I’m picking with my personal biased taste and eye.

The exhibition dedicates a delimitated space to different galleries. The first one to call my attention was gallery Rizomi from Parma, Italy. The gallery focuses specifically on “art brut”, a category within the contemporary arts that prioritizes the visceral unacademic mays of creation over the overly articulated academism. As Nicola Mazzeo owner and curator of the gallery told me himself: “He really has a predilection to find artist whose work operates at the edge of what we recognize as contemporary art”, which I think is genius, isn’t the avant garde at the edge of culture to start with, anyway? 

Rozomi Gallery is presenting exclusively the work of visual artist Tommaso Buldini, his work reminds me to a mix of Doom, the video game, and Jerome Bosch. Tommaso has also colaborated with music artists to create videoclips with his drawing and painting work which is nothing less than amazing. So full of expression. 


I was also very moved by one of the artists exposed by gallery JULIO. Yanieb Fabre was the exposed artist of their choice and who I had I had a chance to have a brief conversation with and told me of the visceral process in which she creates her drawings. Sometimes made in monumental formats and sometimes filling up drawing journals, which are exposed at Dessin 20. Yanieb Fabre is originary from Mexico, and despite being based in Paris, her work is highly influenced by Mexican and Aztec mythology, notably the legend of the Nahual, which is the idea of humans trascending or reencarnating into beasts.


I was also captivated by the work of  drawing artists  translate into ceramic. There is something exciting and refreshing about recognizing the technique  but redrawn on a very contemporary aesthetic by the hand of the creatives.



Ivo Barraza Castaneda

Hello, my name is Ivo. My three favorite things in life are: Thinking deeply about visual creation, and almost anything in life. But I like to focus in visual creation. I like having long discussions of ideas that might reinvent the course of history. And finally, spending time with the people I love. Since I was a child, I was always involved in some activity around plastic arts, music and literature. That’s how I learned to sew by hand at the age of five, which later led me to focus on my main proffesional media: Fashion Design.