The Opening of Jovan Pantić’s Exhibition “Drawings, Retrospective 70’s and 80’s “

Renovation of drawing

Dragos Kalajic was the first who think about the renovation of the painting, in this region, although there are opinions that he has never been endangered and that there is no crisis in art, but only a change. The fact is, however, that on the Serbian art scene there are fewer drawers, they are almost extinct. Belgrade was once the imperial centre of European and world drawings, where were creating some of the best painters. This elan was achieved through the Medial art group, actually the movement. Mediala was the first to break with the millennial Mediterranean heritage of Serbian art, which stretches from antiquity through the Orthodox Middle Ages to modernism. Fresco and icon painting was developing and some contributions to modernism, but not the analytical, northerly drawing, which Mediala revealed lonely. A number of drawers from the middle and younger generations came out of her overcoat, especially in the period of high modernism, from the fifties to the beginning of the eighties, but also later. This great flight dies with trans-avant-garde and a “new picture” in the eighties, when the antimatter of meaninglessly ugly painting was nurtured, as a new, post-modern aspect of iconography.

One of the great masters of drawing art of the earlier period is the painter Jovan Pantić (Valjevo, 1950). For his work, Mihailo Djokovic Tikalo, the second devotee, said he had an unusual fineness. In the wreaths of his lines and subtle hues, we discover why the drawing tradition of Renaissance Florence loved more than Venice’s painters, which is why the strictness and conceptuality of the drawings correspond more to the splendour and arbitrariness of the painting colour. Drawing is the spine of all fine arts and the color is a blood; In this sense, Pantic tries to purify and poetise the line, pulling it out to be like grass, like hair, water leaks, or webs where birds build nests. He is concentrated in the mystery and tradition of the drawings; he was permeated with historical knowledge of the drawing, a medial-fantastic creative spirit with personal discoveries in the field of form and composition. Like any real drawing artist he is a researcher, on this small piece of paper there are the worlds of darkness and light, gnosis and horror, beauty and its negation. It moves from organic to architectural, from amorphous to constructive, from nude to object, asking about the secret of an individual as well as group or accumulated. Like the best painters, he is not interested in the artistic description; he is not a realist, nor a documentary but an expert, a psychologist who enters the state of figures and objects as a great secret of existence. Pantic came to remind not only what to draw, but to create with elegance and style, his mission is to stay aside as a superior observer, above the public well. He is an abstract artist, an artist of the aristocrats, and his world was created in the midst of several meanings, for which it is especially necessary to spiritually arm. Unlike others, it does not favour the amorphous, soft, or geometric, strict, the crystalline structure of the drawings, and in that key, we could see and read entire epochs and civilisations. In his work phallusoid and lute, forms appear along with architectural, free lines and kroki with the precise study, human figure and a multitude of objects. It’s about a drawing artist who wants to explore the richness of this art, not excluding raw linear minimalism or any drawing. His advantage is that he does not opt for one drawing option, but he works on more than one basis.

He knows only one precise and sensitive line that is revealed by Djordjone and Ticijan on the nudes of soured beauty, as he is aware that he can not be kept only in the beautiful, but must enter the drawing as a process, in which agglomerations are present, combining and contemporary fine arts. It, therefore, examines the aesthetics of collage, the appearance of the ugly one, which makes him contemporary rather than anachronistic, as he has heard for the integration and development of artistic poetics.

Without his opus, the history of the Serbian and Belgrade drawings has been diminished. Restoring confidence in the drawing, close to Mediala and Radomir Reljić, he was devoted to the Khonti, black margins of the black waves, when medialists and their heirs created outside the public,  illegally. He is a representative of the heroic time in which the drawing was alchemy, magic and horror of creation. On his works, the phenomenologically concentrated world of numerous agglomerations, mutations and metamorphoses, attribution of particular meaning to the forms around the human figure and to it, that pillar and axis of the world. Man is a spiritual centre in which space and time are broken; the worlds break through, it lasts as all around it decays into the fertiliser as the eternal symbol of transience. John Pantić’s drawings have something “dante”, great in the swing, perhaps pre-apocalyptic, of what corresponds to the second fall of a modern man, the second Adam’s temptation, the sin of no more temptation of forbidden fruit, but the destruction of the whole nature, the cutting of the paradise tree. Therefore, his drawings should been understood as small miracles, virtuoso traces of prophetic imagination and critical commitment to humanity.

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