The Opening of Marija Zdravkovic’s Exhibition – The Invisible Secret Of Beings

Due to modern tendencies that favor a dry concept, annulment of mimetic or engaged narrative, the painting survives pleasantly, gently, accepted, by the artist Marija Zdravković, persistent in her  continuity, in relation to the precise Dürer arrangement when it comes to clear representations of plants and flowers, and Monet’s impressionistic approach to a similar subject. Imperishable fascination with the ephemeral beauty of floral motifs is the thread of painting research for the ideal frame of a micro world, extreme, hidden, flourishing or already dying, without us noticing.

It all started in 2015 in Norway in a botanical garden, where Maria became aware of the therapeutic effect and meditative character of the flora, which she will mark as the visual identity of her works. Magnified scenes of nature are an inexhaustible source of shapes, colors, various lines that are interesting and inspiring to the artist’s artistic charge, sometimes there is photography as a template, but more often it is in vivo painting regardless of the problematic vitality and freshness of plants. There are many motives and inspirations for glorifying the power and beauty of nature in its so heterogeneous system that is prone to unpredictable changes and playful dynamics.

Veristic or imaginary notes of nature from its huge spectrum of details emit a special sensibility and a strong poetic charge. The artist is equally dedicated to the image of nature and the nature of the painting itself. With the same enthusiasm, she approaches and elaborates pictorially through a system of sensitive lines, a sense of the materiality of color and the measured layering of azure transitions, compositional harmony. The interpretation of the selected clips, the ultimate visual comfort is the synthesis of fresh and intense colors, achieved harmony, playful construction of drawings and not shying away from using all the artistic elements available, for the luxurious effect and without lascivious impression. Along with the objectification of the formal and the artistic, she manages to imprint the narrative of sensitivity and thoughtfulness. The subtlety, sensitivity and fragility of inner feelings, personal emotional contents are materialized and revived in the sentimental atmosphere of the works (Elegy – invisible secret of beings, Fading love, Fulfillment, The absence of a word can also be a word).

* The elegy is a lyrical song interwoven with sad feelings and mood. The causes of such feelings can be different – disappointment in life and the environment, the death of a loved one, parents, friends, parting, unfulfilled love, unattainable happiness, the transience of life.. In literature, an elegy implies a poem in which sadness is primarily expressed. Elegy belongs to a very old type of poetry. In the era of romanticism, elegy was classified into poems, which in their content have as their main theme – pain and regret. The elegy then became a song that was accompanied by a sad mood and tenderness, emotions due to parting, memories were emphasized.

Elegy and beauty are both counterpoints and similar toponyms, which in Marija Zdravković’s painting are connected by transience as a common component, conquered by the authentic magic of the moment. Commitment and fidelity to one motive, which in its essence carries the secret of the short-lived, makes her work a challenge without guarantees. Poetry and pity for the eternal merge, cheerful sonority and silence, mysterious musicality of the vanished time, missed pleasures and coexistence in the awareness of this now.

As Wolfgang Bauer comments, the Ch’an Buddhists “were not attracted by the seething life in the endless cycle of birth and death, but by the atemporal idea, constantly blurred by the multiplicity of movement, yet rising behind it in inexhaustible calm, yet promising to emerge in a clear and immutable glow only when the flickering of the visible world was extinguished” (1976). Shen Chou communed  as a mystic poet with the world, always looking both at seething life and for the immutable glow that lies behind it. His poem, which moves from spring to summer and fall, recalls the emotions of each season, and ends with the realization once more that, after the flowers have blossomed and died, the grass grown tall then brown, the leaves fallen from the trees, one sees clearly again the mountain they have long obscured. Suddenly, it is there. (Peach Blossom spring – Gardens and Flowers in Chinese Paintings, Richard Barnhart)

Shen Chou painted “Flowers of the Four Seasons” in the 15th century, in the traditional manner of Chinese painting, incorporating the entire life philosophy of that people and country, an inherited obsession with the images of flowers and gardens. The contemplation of the Zen garden and the religiosity of the Zen philosophy are also hinted at by Mary’s visual eloquence and clarity. Her recent works introduce erasure, elimination, minimalism and purity of reduction, conceptual and pictorial search through the accumulation of layers and then their obstruction (Heat, Space without a secrets, The eye learns to see the invisible, Back to yourself, Everyone is what thay are  only through the other ). The hints of organic form and their refraction towards abstraction, delicate transparent texture, even thinner and even hypersensitive line, do not tolerate exaggeration. The artist stops everything that would be superfluous, intuitively choosing the moment to make the end official.

Mira Vujović

Art historian

Translated by Mira Vujović

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