For Study and Delight

Drawings and Prints from the Art Collection Leiden University

Catalogue ‘For Study and Delight, Drawings and Prints from Leiden University’, p 387, 394
Publisher Leiden University Press/ Leiden Publications, Leiden
ISBN 978 908728 2417

The prominence of patterns

Text by Jef Schaeps

Many artists take an interest in patterns nowadays, whether they are printmakers or draughtsman. An artist like Alexandra Roozen has been making large-size drawings in pencil for quite some years now. She repeats and varies patterns that have been drawn with consummate patience, sometimes with the help of instruments. In printmaking she has made drypoints of considerable dimensions whereby she scratched the surface with tremendous power, using a drilling machine. The creative act, the manual labour needed in the production of these art works have become a part of the patterns she creates. Her drawings and drypoints never look mechanical, the hand that created them remains visible all the time. Roozen’s drawings are also about repetition and variation, about light and dark, bout (the absence of) colours and about the autonomy of drawing.

This untitled drawing is composed by a multitude of squares and circles. They overlap and intersect, some are light, some are dark, some are drawn on top of others. The more we look, the more complex the image turn out to be. Are these shapes floating, is there depth? What are we looking at? At first sight these drawings recalls architectural plans where cities have been reduced to miniatures houses, streets and trees. But on closer view the squares and circles are nothing more than that. Some are shaded and thus created an illusion of three dimensionality but there is no indication on logical space or location. There is a sense of floating in every direction though there is no chaos. The shapes have been evenly disturbed over the paper. Looking at the drawing leaves the viewer hypnotized.

Alexandra Roozen, Stripped

No Title (Stripped), pencil, paper, 88×68 cm, 2009-2011, Art Collection Leiden University

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