The Opening Of Miljan Stevanović’s Reminiscence of nature

“Man’s ideas must be as wide as nature, if he is to interpret nature.”

Arthur Conan Doyle

Miljan is certainly not trying to interpret nature, but rather his experience of it, through reminiscence, recalling and evoking moments that result in the formation of artistic content. The inspiration of this artist lies in the relationship between the environment and the caused state, first of all, of the artistic being. Until now, the works dealt with the development and dynamics of changes in universal forms and mutually variable and arbitrary relationships, colors, lines, colors, without strict mimetic conditioning. He used a completely free and undefined, invented system in which the harmony of artistic elements reigns, without relying on life and empirical experiences.

The working and living environment of an artist and, above all, a person, is often nature, so quite logically, it moves into the works themselves, consciously or not. Nurturing and maintaining an ecosystem involves many repetitive actions that make it sustainable and beautiful, but also enjoyable. Such actions have a meditative character that the man/artist gladly applies through his work/painting. The work is balanced with pleasure, and the product is art that came from an emotional connection and closeness with nature and its basin of warmth and pleasure that leaves no one indifferent. The logical consequence in the artistic approach is the maximum dominance of blue and green tones, which again and again undermine the meditative and relaxing effect on both the artist and the observer.

“Keep and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we ever had.”

Carl Sagan

“The color green is the basis of the colors of the world and its beauty is born from it.”

Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Blue and green are the colors of the natural state of mind and body of man when it is in harmony with nature, the only real and “natural” environment, always healing and recuperative. Colors that can describe a moment of silence, an interruption of the program, a stop of time in which creativity is born and pulsates, without burden, spontaneously, naturally. Compared to the previous works, in addition to the novelties in the palette, blue and green predominate, the tones and transitions themselves become softer, color contrasts are minor, one color dominates the canvas and conquers the largest part. The strict centralization of a certain motif is neglected, the unsettling and spontaneous framing is a reflection of the charming imperfections of the scene and nature itself. Undefined shapes are smeared and only faintly hinted at through thin layers of even thinner shades. As everything in nature is created over time, through stages, and is successively built on, the artist himself elaborates his work process in this way. The artist has a sketch in his head, which then undergoes slight changes and oscillations during the creation of the work. Miljan puts layers of paint, thin and azure, decomposes and overlaps shapes, looks for them through layers of paint, trying to capture and fix them. The forms themselves are vibrant, transparent like an amoeba in all its impermanence and elusiveness, they become bold and gentle.

 If we were to venture a discrete description of the works, we would define them as a lyrical-organic abstraction, where even after multi layers of paint, we note the lightness of existence, subtle apprehension and diffuseness of form. The transparent atmosphere listens to the silence, impulsiveness and emotionality of nature, so it interactively excites the soul of the observer. It is impossible to communicate with nature without evoking contemplative moods in man.

If the pictures are the artist’s memories of some scene of nature that moved and inspired him, or just deeply engraved, perhaps we could notice a certain visualization of an English garden, velvety and unencumbered by rules, rather than a French one where everything is geometrically exact and strict. Dissolving forms and painted surfaces give the impression of microscopic observation, so after so many magnifications we enter into the cellular, molecular and atomic parts of an organism. Is Miljan gradually and studiously trying to unravel the birth of the artistic, creative, sublime and what is the secret common ingredient of nature and painting through the creation of a painting? The interweaving and mutual connection of these two can be told in parallel by looking at the picture of nature or the nature of Miljan’s painting.

The paintings individually do not have a name, because there are primarily fragments of a whole. They are happiest when they act as an ensemble, when they follow each other, when they form a sequence that we must not interrupt. That sequence that speaks of the comprehensiveness of nature, of a flow that is constantly moving, where it may be possible to stop the moment only in oneself, but not in the world around us, because vibrancy and fluidity are a measure of survival.

Conversations with nature are always conversations with ourselves.

Mira Vujović

Art historian

Translated by Mira Vujović

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