Behind the Sun

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When observing and interpreting the exhibited examples, a demand arises – to perceive these new works in continuity with the previous ones. There are two reasons for this kind of critical operative approach: the first convincingly indicates that it is, by visual, semantic and valuative characteristics, a related, coherent oeuvre and the second that thematizes a constant presence of a centrally positioned core that evolves by generating new models. The question is: what are the new structural elements in relation to the existing segments of artist’s explorations within the oeuvre.

There is no doubt that an abstract painting is in front of us. By it being coded in an abstract term, its character is designated as non-objective, and the work is determined as one leaving the idea of reproducing the objective world. However, this art does not abstract a datum that was over-reduced and simplified to the point of the recognizable, which means that the presented painting-object does not thematically cover anything from the perception of the world around it, but refers to the complete absence of the concrete and the artist resorts to the “pure” shape, liberated from the connotative qualities. On the relation of the two dimensional-three dimensional, flat-spaced examples come up in search for the mode that would present the space as an occurring “pure reality”.

This kind of reality is spatial because the wire, as a material, models the real space, but also the illusive and poetical. It is true that the painting is inclined to define space as determined, the way Gaston Bachelard’s poetics of the spatial is considered crucial for understanding the work of M. Ristić. A painting-object indicates an optic play as well, a mastered experience of the gestural painting as well as the painting of action. We need to emphasize that the final interventions on the aluminum show the new visual and symbolic moments: the accentuation of the line, work on the structure of the stroke, the evolving of the line in the sense of the crystallization of the linear structure and dynamic of the strokes that forms small geometrical shapes, as well as the modeling of the skillfully chosen, harmonized and contrasted coloring. Further, we notice an optical moment of a “retraction” of the receptor into the core of almost magnetic capacity, as though it were a space of an enhanced gravity, whether it be about the linear concentric horizons or the spilt circular space around the central stronghold. A core understood in that way is a source, an origin, a commotion, a pulse or a fruitful darkness in which some new visual possibilities occur.

What is also perceived in the design of such a painting-object is the attempt to give a referent answer to the question of the position and status of a painting today. What is actually happening to a contemporary easel painting in a macro-cultural digital environment? Or, what does a painting represent in the time of the hegemony of financial capital? The inflation of painting materials had already started with the emergence of media that could reproduce the painting. Nowadays, a painting mostly resides in a different space, it is in a net, placed on some website, always a moment away from the “share” option.

Having that in mind, the exhibited works are examples of how the painting-objects function in a cultural, social, local geo-poetic and global space today. These paintings were created in a time when we almost could not distinguish between the “sensory” or the “sensually accomplished”. These determinations retreat more and more before the terms that refer to art and culture, even if it is about its local geo-poetical centeredness that yet again retreats before the parameters of the global.

It seems that we speak more and more about art on a scale of global, informational, social and financial systems. Therefore, art is what we formalize or proclaim to be art, and not the quality achieved thanks to the aesthetic and cognitive values. The paintings of M.Ristić strive towards the universal and aesthetically authentic and present one of the painterly possibilities of today.

Katarina Radulović

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