RK- W8/ 2016


Serbia

Painting
Size: 55 H x 79 W x 1.2 in

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Art Description

Painting: Enamel, Marker, Oil and Spray Paint on Canvas.

Historical avant-gardes and especially their successors during the period after
World War II, aimed with their radical strategies to eradicate the traditional visual
arts disciplines and concept of art object. Simultaneously, they fostered active
participation of the artists and arts in shaping everyday life and society, and thus
they finally formed the contemporary visual culture and its creative paradigm. In
this constellation once dominant artistic discipline of painting lost its exclusive
status of medium which throughout the history most clearly reflected the
perception of reality and the world as it was defined by the mankind. After a
period of oblivion or even the death of painting – as the aspiring theoreticians
who believed in supremacy of technology and methods of then-new media art
and practice in general proclaimed at the turn of the millennium – the period
of its strong revival and particularly of its figurative version followed.
However, paintings by the referential painters of current generation are more inspired
by film, TV or photography regarding the imagery and by the insights of postconceptual
artists in terms of conception and methodology, than the legacy of
their own art discipline. This is most evident in their attitude towards the abstract
painting which, after its triumph in the previous century, for majority of young
artists seems to be out of sight and interest. Of course, this is only a summary
of global trends, without considering the specifics of their reflections in the
inexhaustible field of artistic subjectivity on which art production is ultimately
based and which often achieves public attention only after the culmination of
its vital contribution to the general scheme of things has inevitably already been
surpassed.
Spartak Dulić’s œuvre is the ideal example of the above mentioned statements.
He is an artist whose practice in relation to the objective potential of its social
and communicative possibilities developed in the self-induced autistic vacuum,
despite his professional participation in the mainstream cultural system – even
if only in such a marginalised district such Subotica is today. It is a trait which
we, thanks to the last remaining echoes of Romanticism, still like to consider as
a glimmer of genuine artistic nature. Dulić’s participation in the field of public
cultural practices is marked by contradictions. His art practice as a whole is
shaped in accordance with contemporary multidisciplinary artistic standards,
including its spillover into the curatorial field, but due to his luck (or, maybe,
his disadvantage) his aesthetic discourse and personal poetics are developed
outside of any trendy formulation. Simply, Dulić has created a unique formula that
combines various procedures and concepts that marked the art of the modern
epoch.
To start with, Dulić belongs to the generation artistically formed in the Nineties,
at the moment when multi-media art was already established as the mainstream
format of the moment to which multiple and varied artistic disciplines and
procedures of post-conceptual art practice converged. Although he graduated
from the class of professor Ante Kuduz at the Department of Graphics at the
Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Dulić’s œuvre from the early days included art
installations and performances. After experimenting with sound and text (Spartak
was the founder of a post-punk, hip-hop group Lepak / The Glue), and aesthetics
of comics and street graffiti, Dulić became a true representative of the generation
that regarded avant-garde strategy of blending academic with popular culture
as self-understandable and practiced it spontaneously. This extensive creative
discourse Dulić will most distinctively consolidate in the conceptual, performative
and material aspects of his painting œuvre. Selection of paintings shown at
this exhibition represent the cycle executed after 2008, although their peculiar
performing method Dulić has been developing during the previous years,
what includes very indicative collages, small in size and composed as threedimensional
structures of superimposed coloured papers. The compositions of
his large paintings essentially represent two-dimensional painted reductions of
these spatial collages, and therefore Dulić considers them derivates of Cubist’s
solution of the real space representation in two-dimensional painting medium.
This is where begins Dulić’s characteristic accumulation of various painting
methods chosen according to the key of their suitability to his own artistic idiom.
Thus his painting method involves more historically validated procedures, which
in the end essentially make it a compendium of better part of the 20th century
painting. According to the chronology, the implementation of the appropriation
of surrealist automatism method followed, aiming at mental catharsis and
realisation of trans-rational balance of painted compositions. Dulić’s painting
process includes also a performative method of painting by circling around the
canvas positioned on the floor. It is the method introduced by Jackson Pollock,
the founder of Abstract Expressionism, from which art of performance emerged
from and which, as we recall, also represents a part of Dulić’s extensive creative
repertoire. After this procedure, the final orientation of the painting is determined
by Dulić’s assessment during the final stages of painting and is subsequently
fixed by positioning of his signature and date. References to historical painting
methods are complemented by the unorthodox choice of the painting material
that, following the Neo-avant-garde poetics of the Sixties, includes a wide variety
of working materials such as façade paints, enamels, spray paints and markers,
and which significantly affect the final look of the image. The last in this series
of recognisable appropriated procedures is the so called street art practice i.e.
wall paintings, graffiti and murals, already contaminated by the strong tradition
of comic art. Taking them back to the studio, alongside the sporadic paintings
on walls in public spaces, Dulić has integrated them into his eclectic painting
procedures. Analysis of his composite painting method nicely illustrates how
deep – and for our times atypical – is Dulić’s inveterateness in the genesis of
visual arts of the modern epoch. It is recognisable in the rich visual vocabulary
of his compositions and even more in their meticulously painted details. What
we see at the exhibition as a consistent result of Dulić’s synthetic capabilities
are displays of complex, intertwined and seemingly endless systems of forms
that fully meet formats of canvases. In accordance with the selected painting
materials, Dulić is not interested in variations of colour tones and hues, and their
sporadic modulations are the result of spraying techniques. He mainly paints with
the primary colours of the spectrum, straight from the containers, which adds to
the intensity of his paintings akin to printing techniques. This visual reminiscence
of the world of comics has been further strengthened by the black line drawings
with which Dulić articulates coloured fields in tangled, meandering forms. For
those who like visual metaphors or cannot do without them, Dulić’s paintings
open views into the dynamic interior with density that strongly reminds of living
organisms as well as machines, or rather on their futuristic bionic amalgam.
Because of the described specificity of his artistic expression, I consider Dulić’s
paintings a serious contribution to the rich tradition of Organic Abstraction, style
with which the great revolution of abstract art begun and which remained one of
its enduring characteristics to this day.

If we return to the initial thesis, Dulić’s painting œuvre confirms the predictable
fate of a genuine artist placed in cultural province where his artistic personality
already at the time of its realisation is condemned at marginalisation within the
value systems at the national and international level. In the context of painting
as a selected discipline, we can generally conclude that despite the discipline’s
turbulent recent history and largely thanks to the pragmatism of the art market,
painting proved to be indestructible and irreplaceable in spite of relentless tide of
new technologies of visual expression. Dulić’s position within these two extremes
may remind us of the proverbial local metaphor of watchtower neither in heaven,
nor on earth. No matter how cruel to the artist’s ambitions and subsistence or
romantic, given the pragmatic functioning of the cultural system it may seem,
isn’t it in the end exactly what by nature and our expectations the artist’s position
should be?

Branko Franceschi 2016

Keywords: Street Art, Contemporary Art, Urban Art, Action Painting, Organic Abstraction

Subjects: Abstract

Styles: Abstract, Abstract Expressionism, Street Art, Surrealism, Pop Art

Mediums: Enamel, Marker, Oil, Spray Paint

Materials: Canvas

Prints: Abstract Art Prints, Abstract Art Prints, Abstract Expressionism Art Prints, Street Art Art Prints, Surrealism Art Prints, Pop Art Art Prints, Enamel Art Prints, Marker Art Prints, Oil Art Prints, Spray Paint Art Prints, Canvas Art Prints