Curator: Mojca Štuhec

Press: Radio Televizija Republike Srpske, Dnevnik 1, 2.6.2023


The exhibition, set up for the public, shows the works of three artists whose artistic expressions differ from each other because each represents its own visual experience. The artists Petra Jovanovska and Krištof Bartnik are seemingly connected by a clearly constructed composition with geometric shapes and pure colors. Their creativity is a kind of research and artistic training ground where they consider the possibilities that can be realized with artistic means, and the scenes shown are also special meditative spaces. Unlike the aspirations of expressive minimalism that is focused on the purity and universality of the visual language, the painting of Slađane Matić Trstenjak is much more expressive. The intimate landscapes shown are adapted, not completely defined in shape and color tones and enriched by the addition of collage.

The central element in the works of Petra Jovanovska is a circle that was not chosen by chance. It represents the synthesis of creative and life philosophy, as well as the knowledge that the perfect form is without beginning and end. It is a sign that symbolizes the life cycle, eternity, the movement of the planets around the Sun, cosmos, wholeness and perfection. Its meaning was already interpreted by the ancient Greeks. It had a symbolic role in medieval church architecture, as well as in the Renaissance and modern art of Western civilization, in contrast to its interpretation that we find in Eastern civilizations. The artist prints her thoughts, emotions and world view in circles. On certain artistic compositions, this sign is multiplied. She achieves this with various media and graphic techniques. She achieves the diversity and dynamism of individual motifs with the help of colors, their structure and tones. If we look carefully, in some circles we can see fine, slightly embossed shapes created by the graphic technique of dry printing. In several examples, the artist frames a certain series of ethereal circles with a rectangle.

Kristof Bartnik presents himself with the Genesis cycle. Using watercolor as a technique, he plays with the shape of a square. In his work as well, the suggestive choice of forms is justified. Unlike a circle, a square is a geometric shape that gives us a sense of stability and tranquility. Although many associate it with limitation, it is still a sign that symbolizes the union of the four elements: earth, water, fire and air, that is, the four basic sides of the sky. We can say that the square is a symbol of integration and synthesis. We could compare this with a man as an individual who is constantly subject to adjustment and decision-making in society, and then we perceive his work as part of a certain process. Bartnik does not approach the motif intuitively, but in a research way.  Thanks to the artist's painting skills, the elements in the painting field are adjusted to perfection. Thus, the central figure becomes variable, its rotation, overlap or disappearance is indicated. By rotating the square, in the axis, new shapes are created. Individual compositions thus consist of several figures whose position is determined by color. The resulting abstract landscapes, the author's meditative spaces, are distinguished by the refinement of colors and the transparency of the watercolor layer.

The artistic confession of Slađana Matić Trstenjak is expressive, condensed and full of emotions. Color and material saturation are the main expressive elements of her works, which is also contributed by the choice of ever smaller canvas format. The main motif remains the landscape, but some scenes are completely abstract. Compared to the paintings from the earlier period, we no longer recognize the central object - wood - which could be associated with the depiction of a man or the artist herself. Now we are looking at compositions with an indeterminate color mass on which it is raining or the sun is shining. Combinations of color perspectives are interesting. The special feature of these paintings, viewed from the artistic and content side, is the technique of collage and assemblage. Paper strips, torn and glued to the canvas, pass over the edge and create a spatial dimension of the picture. It is a combination of colorful and drawn sheets of different shapes, sometimes supplemented with textile cloths.  It is the color that creates the mood, and the warm color of pink and purple tones prevails. There, green and blue appear "in the role of precipitation", the symbolism of which is washing away the bad and superfluous from the scene. The artworks of Slađana Matić Trstenjak radiate a wealth of endless life colors and optimism.